What is the role of cultures in the diagnosis of pediatric tinea versicolor?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Lyubomir A Dourmishev, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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M furfur is a dimorphic lipophilic organism, which is cultured only in media enriched with C12-sized to C14-sized fatty acids. It is not a dermatophyte, does not grow on DTM, and does not respond to griseofulvin therapy.

If inoculated into lipid-rich media, the scales of tinea versicolor show spherical yeasts that produce the mycelial phase of the normal flora yeast P orbiculare. Scales that show mycelium and clusters of oval yeasts on direct microscopy grow P ovale on culture.

Colonization by M furfur is especially dense in the scalp, the upper trunk, and the flexures. In patients with clinical disease, the organism occurs in both the filamentous (hyphal) and the yeast (spore) stage forms.

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