DANDRUFF AETIOLOGY AND THE EFFECTS OF EDIBLE LIPIDS ON THE GROWTH OF ISOLATES
Nengimoyo Biobelemonye, Ofonime M. Ogba* and Lydia N. Abia-Bassey
Background: Dandruff is caused by Malassezia species, a lipophilic fungus. Information on the aetiology of the fungi associated with this condition and profile of affected persons are sparse in our locality. This prospective study was designed to determine the aetiology of dandruff causing fungi and to assess the effects of some edible lipids on the growth of predominant isolates in our locality. Methods: The participants enrolled for the study were 245 in number. Those with dandruff-like lesions were 145 and those without lesions (controls) were 100. Ethical approval was obtained. Questionnaires were administered for biodata. Scalp scrapings were obtained from subjects visiting hair and beauty salons into sterile paper envelopes and transported to the Microbiology Laboratory, UCTH, for analysis. Samples were subjected to culture, microscopy and physiological tests. Growth response of Malassezia species to lipids was assessed using common edible oils including groundnut oil. Results: Out of the 145 subjects with dandruff-like lesions, 90.3% were positive for different Malassezia species. The most prevalent Malassezia species among subjects with dandruff lesions was M. furfur (70.2%) while M. globosa (51.9%) was the most prevalent among the controls. Malassezia pachydermatis was the least prevalent species among the two groups. M. furfur grew exceptionally on SDA overlaid with groundnut oil. Conclusion: Groundnut oil could be used as an alternative for the cultivation of M. furfur especially in a resource poor setting like ours and should not be used in the preparation of hair ointment or creams.
Keywords: Malassezia pachydermatis, M. globosa.
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