Efficacy of medicinal essential oils against pathogenic Malassezia sp. isolates

J Mycol Med. 2016 Mar;26(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.mycmed.2015.10.012. Epub 2015 Nov 17.


Objectives: The purposes of this study were to evaluate the distribution pattern and population size of Malassezia species in dogs with atopic dermatitis (AD) and the inhibitory efficacy of Zataria multiflora, Thymus kotschyanus, Mentha spicata, Artemisia sieberi, Rosmarinus officinalis and Heracleum persicum essential oils against pathogenic Malassezia isolates.

Methods: The samples were collected from 5 different anatomical sites of 33 atopic dogs and cultured onto modified Dixon agar (MDA) and Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) media. The essential oil extraction was performed by steam distillation using Clevenger system. Anti-Malassezia efficacy of medicinal essential oils and standard drugs was evaluated using broth microdilution method.

Results: A total of 103 yeast colonies were isolated from dogs with AD. Eight different Malassezia species were identified as follows: Malassezia pachydermatis (81.4%), M. globosa (7.8%), M. restricta (3.9%), M. sloofiae (2.9%), M. furfur (1%), M. nana (1%), M. obtusa (1%) and M. sympodialis (1%). The most and least infected sites were: anal (21.2%) and ear (10.6%) respectively. M. pachydermatis was the most frequent Malassezia species isolated from both skin and mucosa of dogs with AD. Antifungal susceptibility test revealed the inhibitory efficacy of essential oils on pathogenic Malassezia isolates with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC(90)) values ranging from 30 to 850 μg/mL. Among the tested oils, Z. multiflora and T. kotschyanus exhibited the highest inhibitory effects (P<0.05).

Conclusion: The essential oils of Z. multiflora and T. kotschyanus showed strong antifungal activity against pathogenic Malassezia species tested.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Atopique; Chien; Dermatite atopique; Dog; Essential oils; Huiles essentielles; Malassezia; Malassezia pachydermatis; Malassezia sp..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Artemisia / chemistry
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / microbiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal
  • Female
  • Heracleum / chemistry
  • Lamiaceae / chemistry
  • Malassezia / drug effects*
  • Malassezia / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Mentha spicata / chemistry
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / veterinary
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rosmarinus / chemistry
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts