In vitro antifungal efficacy of ciclopirox olamine alone and associated with zinc pyrithione compared to ketoconazole against Malassezia globosa and Malassezia restricta reference strains

Mycopathologia. 2006 Dec;162(6):395-400. doi: 10.1007/s11046-006-0075-0.


The aim of this study was to determine the in vitro fungicidal and growth inhibitory activity of ciclopirox olamine alone (1% and 1.5%) or in association with 1% zinc pyrithione compared to 2% ketoconazole, against Malassezia species particularly involved in the pathogenesis of seborrheic dermatitis. Experiments were performed on Malassezia globosa IP 2387.96 and M. restricta IP 2392.96 strains. Growth inhibitory activity of the active compounds in solution was evaluated by measuring minimal inhibitory concentrations using a broth micro-method and their fungicidal activity by a filtration method after contact times between solutions and yeasts ranging from 3-5 to 30 min. Concerning the determination of minimal inhibitory concentration of ciclopirox olamine/zinc pyrithione, it revealed the marked synergistic inhibitory effect of the association, leading to a higher efficacy compared to ketoconazole. As to the fungicidal activity of ciclopirox olamine, it significantly increased with the contact time. After 15-30 min of contact between 1.5% ciclopirox olamine and Malassezia strains, a 2-log reduction of Malassezia counts was observed. The 1.5% ciclopirox olamine/1% zinc pyrithione association was characterized by a steady fungicidal efficacy whereas the 2% ketoconazole solution did not express any fungicidal effect. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the in vitro inhibitory and fungicidal efficacy of the ciclopirox olamine/zinc pyrithione association against Malassezia species and underscores its potential interest in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ciclopirox
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / microbiology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hair Preparations / pharmacology
  • Ketoconazole / pharmacokinetics
  • Ketoconazole / pharmacology*
  • Malassezia / drug effects*
  • Malassezia / growth & development
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Organometallic Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Organometallic Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Pyridines / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Pyridones / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyridones / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Hair Preparations
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pyridines
  • Pyridones
  • Ciclopirox
  • Ketoconazole
  • pyrithione zinc