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Carriage of Malassezia spp. yeasts in Cornish Rex, Devon Rex and Domestic short-haired cats: a cross-sectional survey

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Carriage of Malassezia spp. yeasts in healthy Cornish Rex cats (CRC) was compared with that in Devon Rex (DRC) and Domestic short-haired (DSH) cats. Samples obtained from the left external ear canal, anus and claw fold of digit III of the left fore foot by swabbing, and the axilla and groin using contact plates, were incubated for yeasts on modified Dixon's agar at 32 °C for 7 days. Malassezia species were isolated from 90% of the DRC, but from only 39% of the CRC and 50% of the DSH cats. M. pachydermatis accounted for 121 of 141 Malassezia spp. isolates. Five CRC were colonized by M. pachydermatis alone, one CRC yielded only M. nana, and one cat yielded only M. slooffiae, whereas five CRC were colonized by both M. pachydermatis and M. nana and another yielded M. pachydermatis, M. slooffiae and M. nana. M. nana was primarily isolated from the ear canal, whereas M. slooffiae was most often isolated from the claw. Both the frequencies of isolation and the population sizes of M. pachydermatis at all sites sampled in the CRC were comparable to those of 10 healthy DSH cats. Populations of M. pachydermatis in the left axilla and left and right groin in the CRC were significantly lower when compared with counts in a group of 21 healthy DRC, a breed with very similar coat characteristics but prone to seborrheic dermatitis caused by M. pachydermatis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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