Malassezia sp organisms within keratin in the fur of a seal


These are digital sections showing abundant, spherical, 2-5um diameter, PAS positive (special stain) structures consistent with Malasezzia spp in skin biopsies from a 2-month-old seal pup that had developed generalised alopecia that was progressing. Whilst the underlying pathogenesis is unsure in this case, NationWide Laboratories is hoping to be able to diagnose what kind of Malasezzia spp may be acting as an opportunistic pathogen in this case. As with small animals, Malasezzia can appear to thrive when the environment of the skin changes and the skin barrier system is impaired. Hypersensitivity, impaired immune system, keratinisation defects, recurrent bacterial infections, endocrinopathies and chronic physiologic stress can all lead to growth of these yeasts. Digital pathology allows us to accurately visualise, measure and capture these changes and share such images for educational purposes.