A*STAR Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) Researchers and P&G Study Methods to Treat Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis via SpecialChem
19 November 2015
A*STAR Researchers and P&G Study Methods to Treat Microbially-mediated Skin Diseases –
Published on 2015-11-16. Author : SpecialChem
SINGAPORE — An international team of scientists, led by researchers from A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), and Bioinformatics Institute (BII), and P&G, have completed the first comprehensive genomic and biologic study of all species of Malassezia, one of the top skin disease-causing microbes. The breakthrough study identified multiple potential targets for treating diseases such as seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and dandruff, all of which can be caused by Malassezia. Malassezia is also associated with skin cancer, the 6th most common cancer in males and the 7th in females in Singapore. These findings improve our understanding of the human skin microbiome, with implications for dermatology and immunology. The study was published in the November issue of PLOS Genetics.
Malassezia is a type of yeast found on the skin of all birds and warm-blooded mammals, including humans. Often, Malassezia simply forms part of our normal skin flora, but for unknown reasons it sometimes causes disease. In particular, two species of Malassezia, M. restricta and M. globosa, are present on all human scalps and are responsible for common dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Dandruff occurs when Malassezia feeds off fatty external lipids secreted naturally on the scalp, and the partially digested lipids lead to irritation. The link between dandruff and the two species was first discovered, and their genomes fully sequenced, by Dr Thomas Dawson and his team at P&G in 2007, which also developed subsequent hair care technologies to target them. However, much remained unknown about Malassezia.