Enzymatic activity of yeasts isolated from the human skin

Skóra, Magdalena; Krzyściak, Paweł; Macura, Anna B.
December 2010
Medical Mycology / Mikologia;2010, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p201
Academic Journal
Introduction: Hydrolytic enzymes secretion is an important factor that enables microorganisms infecting skin to invade tissues. The activity and characteristics of the secreted enzymes may be an adaptation factor and determinant of fungal pathogenicity. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the activity of hydrolytic enzymes between Malassezia sp. and other yeasts isolated from the skin and with reported data. Material and methods: Enzymatic activity of 59 yeasts strains isolated from the human skin was evaluated: 22 lipid dependent Malassezia sp. strains, 20 Candida sp., and 17 Rhodotorula sp. The enzymatic activity was tested using an API ZYM test, manufactured by bioMerieux. Results: Considerable differences were detected in the occurrence and activity of hydrolytic enzymes among the fungal genera tested. In case of Candida sp. activity of thirteen enzymes was found while in Rhodotorula sp. and Malassezia sp. ten and eigh respectively. The activity of seven enzymes was found in all of the genera under study. Statiostically significant differences among the activities were found in esterase C4, lipase estarase C8, leucin arylamidase, valine arylamidase, acid phosphatase, α-glucosidase, β-glucosidase, and N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase. Conclusions: The comparison of three fungal genera: Candida, Malassezia, Rhodotorula gives evidence that Malassezia sp. is the fungal genus is best adapted to growth on the skin. Our experiments give evidence that C4 esterase and C8 esterase lipase are the most characteristic enzymes produced by Malassezia sp. Their activity may be determined in the API ZYM test and compared with that produced by the genera Candida and Rhodotorula. In some Malassezia species also β-glucosidase is present. The lack of valine arylamidase activity appears to be characteristic in Malassezia sp. To perform a precise analysis of the enzymatic profile produced by various grups of fungi, it is essential to identify the fungal species and to work out standards that enable comparison of the findings obtained in various laboratories.


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