In Vitro Antifungal Susceptibility of Malassezia pachydermatis Strains Isolated from Dogs with Chronic and Acute Otitis Externa
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Malassezia pachydermatis is a yeast that is frequently involved as a secondary/perpetuating factor in canine otitis externa. Topical therapies with different antifungal agents, mainly azole compounds, are generally successful in controlling the yeast overgrowth, but treatment failure and rapid recurrences are common. This study compared the in vitro antifungal susceptibility of M. pachydermatis isolates obtained from chronic and acute cases of otitis externa. The aim was to assess the possible onset of resistance mechanisms in isolates involved in long-lasting episodes with poor response to treatment. We evaluated the in vitro susceptibility to miconazole (MCZ) and clotrimazole (CTZ) of 42 isolates of M. pachydermatis obtained from dogs with chronic (group A, n = 25) and acute otitis (group B, n = 17), using a modified CLSI M27-A3 microdilution method. All isolates were inhibited by the antifungal agents employed, but Malassezia isolates from group A were significantly associated with higher minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for both agents (Median MIC values: MCZ group A 2 µg/ml, group B 1 µg/ml; CTZ group A 8 µg/ml, group B 4 µg/ml). These findings prove that these isolates had a reduced in vitro susceptibility to the antifungal agents tested. However, it is unlikely that this could have any influence on the outcome of a topical treatment. Indeed, marketed products include concentrations of the tested agents that largely exceed even the highest MICs found in this study (in most cases at least 1,000 × the MIC, or greater). In conclusion, this study suggests that isolates of M. pachydermatis involved in chronic cases of canine external otitis and exposed to repeated antifungal treatments are unlikely to develop mechanisms of resistance of clinical relevance.
KeywordsMalassezia pachydermatis Antifungal susceptibility CLSI reference broth microdilution method Otitis externa
This work was supported by a grant of Elanco Animal Health, division of Eli Lilly Italy S.p.A. The authors express their acknowledgments to Elena Borio and Roberta Morandi for their laboratory support.
Conflict of interest
None to declare.
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