Dichotomous response of Malassezia-infected macrophages to Malassezia pachydermatis and Malassezia furfur

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Malassezia pachydermatis and Malassezia furfur are lipophilic yeasts of the cutaneous microbiome, although these organisms are occasionally responsible for serious invasive infections in neonates. Since phagocytosis is an important mechanism mediating the adaptive immune response, here we evaluated the phagocytosis capacity and production of nitric oxide and cytokine by macrophages after challenged with M. furfur CBS-1878 and M. pachydermatis CBS-1696. The phagocytic indexes was determined using RAW 264.7 cultivated or not with M. furfur or M. pachydermatis in the concentrations of 5:1 or 2:1 (yeasts:macrophages ratio) for 6 h, 24 h, and 48 h following the challenges. Evaluation of nitric oxide and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, interferon (IFN)-gama and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-a) by Griess method and flow cytometry, respectively, were performed in the different intervals by collecting the cell culture supernatant. Results showed a higher phagocytic index in the 5:1 ratio in 24 h for both species. Malassezia pachydermatis-infected macrophages had superior phagocytic indexes than M. furfur-infected macrophages. Phagocytosis evaluation at 48 h showed significant microorganisms proliferation and macrophages death, particularly in macrophages infected with M. pachydermatis, suggesting yeast evasion mechanism. Significant variations in the nitric oxide production were observed in macrophages infected with both species. Levels of TNF-a and IL-4 cytokines have increased in M. furfur and M. pachydermatis macrophage-infected cultures, respectively. The low microbicidal activity and the presence of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines reinforce the dichotomous character of the relation of these yeasts with the host, acting as a commensal in the cutaneous microbiome or causing infection.
Moreira RTF, Lallo MA, Alvares-Saraiva AM, Hurtado ECP, Konno FT, Spadacci-Morena DD, et al. Dichotomous response of Malassezia-infected macrophages to Malassezia pachydermatis and Malassezia furfur. Med. Mycol.. 2019 Jul;57(5):628-635. doi:10.1093/mmy/myy104.
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