Dermatitis caused by algae and Bryozoans

  • Gianni Angelini
  • Domenico Bonamonte


About 30,000 different species of marine and fresh water algae microorganisms (Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes) have been identified, that are classified among vegetable species because they are autotrophic (Fig. 8.1) (Table 8.1) [1]. Many algae, most of which contain chlorophyll, have flagella that enable them to move through the water. They feature highly variable shapes, colours and sizes, ranging from microscopic (just 1 ; in diameter) to gigantic forms reaching 300 foot long (90 m).

Table 8.1. Classification of algae. Reproduced with permission from [1]



Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria or blue algae)



Rhodophyta (red algae)

Chlorophyta (green alghe)


Xanthophyta (yellow algae)

Bacillariophyta (diatomea)

Chrysophyta (yellow-brown algae)

Phaeophyta (brown algae)

Pyrrhophyta (Dinoflagellates)

Cryptophyta (Cryptomonads)













Contact Dermatitis Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Spirulina Platensis Intralesional Corticosteroid Fresh Water Alga 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    . Ghiretti F, Cariello L (1984) Gli animali marini velenosi e le loro tossine. Piccin, Padova, 17Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    . Fisher AA (1978) Atlas of aquatic dermatology. Grune and Stratton, New York, 52Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    . Grauer FH, Arnold HL (1961) Seaweed dermatitis. Arch Dermatol 84:720PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    . Cohen SG, Reif CB (1953) Cutaneous sensitization to blue-green algae. J Allergy 24:452PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    . Heise HA (1951) Microcystis: another form of algae producing allergenic reactions. Ann Allergy 9:100PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    . Jeanmougin M, Lemarchand-Venencie F, HÓang XD et al (1987) Eczema professionnel avec photosensibilité par contact de Bryozoaires. Ann Dermatol Venereol 114:353PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    . Kokelj F, Trevisan G, Stinco G et al (1994) Skin damage caused by mucilaginous aggregates in the Adriatic sea. Contact Dermatitis 31:257PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    . Bonamonte D, Cassano N, Vena GA et al (2000) Prototecosi. In: Veraldi S, Caputo R (eds) Dermatologia di importazione. Poletto Editore, Milano, 134Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    . Sudman MS (1974) Protothecosis. Am J Clin Pathol 61:10PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    . Mayhall CG, Miller CW, Eisen AZ et al (1976) Cutaneous protothecosis. Arch Dermatol 112:1749PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    . Angelini G, Vena GA (1997) Dermatosi da agenti marini. In: Angelini G, Vena GA (eds) Dermatologia professionale e ambientale. Vol I. ISED, Brescia, 202Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    . Monopoli A (1995) Cutaneous protothecosis. Int J Dermatol 34:766PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    . West GS (1916) Algae. Cambridge University Press 1:475Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    . Sonk CE, Koch Y (1971) Vertreter der Gattung Prototheca als Schmarotzer auf der Haut Mykosen 14:475Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    . Davies RR, Spencer H, Wakelin PO (1964) A case of human protothecosis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 58:448PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    . Mendez CM, Silva-Lizama E, Logemann H (1995) Human cutaneous protothecosis. Int J Dermatol 34:554PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    . Nelson AM, Neafie RC, Connor DH (1987) Cutaneous protothecosis and chlorellosis, extraordinary “aquatic-borne” algal infections. Clin Dermatol 14:475Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    . Huerre M, Ravisse P, Solomon H et al (1993) Protothécoses humaines et environnement. Bull Soc Pathol Exot 86:484PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    . Woolrich A, Koestenblatt E, Don P (1994) Cutaneous protothecosis and AIDS. J Am Acad Dermatol 31:920PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    . Wirth FA, Passalacqua JA, Kao G (1999) Disseminated cutaneous protothecosis in an immunocompromised host: a case report and literature review. Cutis 63:185PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    . Kim ST, Suh KS, Chae YS et al (1996) Successful treatment with fluconazole of protothecosis developing at the site of an intralesional corticosteroid injection. Br J Dermatol 135:803PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    . Walsh SV, Johnson RA, Tahan SR (1998) Protothecosis: an unusual cause of chronic subcutaneous and soft tissue infection. Am J Dermatol 20:379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    . Jones JW, Fadden HW, Chandler FW et al (1983) Green algal infection in a human. Am J Clin Pathol 80:102PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    . Dogliotti M, Mars PW, Rabson AR et al (1975) Cutaneous protothecosis. Br J Dermatol 93:473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    . Tang WYM, Lo KK, Lam WY et al (1995) Cutaneous protothecosis: report of a case in Hong Kong. Br J Dermatol 133:479PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    . Bonnevie P (1948) Fishermen’s “Dogger Bank Itch” allergic contact eczema due to coralline Alcyonidium hirsutum, the sea-chervil. Acta Allergol 1:40Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    . Audebert C, Lamourex P (1978) Eczema professionnel du marin pêcheur par contact de Bryozoaires en Baie de Seine. Ann Dermatol Venereol 105:187PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    . Jeanmougin M, Janier M, Prigent F et al (1983) Eczema de contact avec photosensibilité á Alcyonidium gelatinosum. Ann Dermatol Venereol 110:725PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Martin P (1983) Dermatoses due to bryozoans. In: Kukita A, Seiji M (eds) Proceedings of the XVIth International Congress of Dermatology. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, 503Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Angelini
    • 1
  • Domenico Bonamonte
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Unit of DermatologyUniversity of BariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Unit of DermatologyUniversity of BariItaly

Personalised recommendations