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Atopic Eczema Patients Often Sensitized to Yeast Strain

Sensitivity to M. sympodialis common and may provide clues to pathogenesis

MONDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- About half of patients with atopic eczema have a sensitivity to the yeast Malassezia sympodialis, according to a report in the November issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Barbra Fischer Casagrande, of University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues evaluated 706 patients using ImmunoCAPm70 and skin-prick tests with crude extracts of M. sympodialis. They also conducted additional tests using recombinant proteins from the yeast.

Overall, 52 of 97 patients (54 percent) had atopic eczema-specific IgE reactivity against M. sympodialis. There was almost no reactivity to M. sympodialis in patients with other allergic conditions (4/571), and no sensitivity in controls. In both extrinsic and intrinsic atopic eczema, IgE and T-cell mediated reactivity was seen.

"Sensitization to M. sympodialis is specific for atopic eczema patients and occurs in both the extrinsic and intrinsic variant of eczema. Recombinant yeast allergens represent a useful tool to study molecular structures and differential sensitization patterns in the pathogenesis of atopic eczema," the authors conclude.

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