Difference between Candida and Malassezia

Malassezia and Candida are two genera of fungus that cause pityriasis versicolor and candidiasis, respectively. Here, let’s learn more about the differences between Candida and Malassezia.

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Candida species are common skin and mucosal residents. They are yeast-like fungi that are known to cause infections worldwide. Candida albicans is a budding cell that is ovoid or spherical in shape, cream or white in colour and develops pseudomycelia both in tissues and in culture. Candidiasis is an infection of the skin, mucosa, and, in rare cases, internal organs caused by Candida albicans. Candidiasis is an opportunistic endogenous infection, with diabetes being the most frequent risk factor. Other Candida species are also increasingly reported to cause clinical infections. Examples:

C. glabrata

C. tropicalis

C. keyfr (formerly C.pseudotropicalis)

C. stellatoidea

Candida species are almost universal. They are most common in intertriginous skin portions like skin folds of the breasts. Some Candida species are also extremely beneficial to humans. For example, C. rugosa produces lipases, and C. krusei ferments cocoa during chocolate manufacture.

See more: Kingdom Fungi


Malassezia is the only genus of fungi under the family Malasseziaceae. In humans, these fungi cause dermatitis and dandruff. Malassezia species may be found on the skin of numerous animals as well as humans. They occasionally induce opportunistic infections. In humans, several species can produce hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation on the trunk and other areas. This genus has around 22 recognised species. Examples:

M. brasiliensis

M. caprae

M. dermatis

M. furfur

Pityriasis versicolor is a disease caused by a lipophilic, yeast-like fungus called M. furfur. It is an asymptomatic, chronic disease that involves the stratum corneum. It results in discrete macular areas of depigmentation or discolouration on the skin of the abdomen, chest, back and upper limbs. In most cases, it is also caused by M. globosa. This species also causes seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff.

Difference between Candida and Malassezia



Candida is a genus of yeast-like fungus belonging to the division Ascomycota.

Malassezia is a genus of yeast-like fungus belonging to the division Basidiomycota.

They are mostly found in mucosal layers of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts along with the skin.

They are naturally present on the skin surfaces of humans and animals.

This species is the main cause for most fungal skin infections.

This species occasionally causes opportunistic skin infections.

They cause several candidiasis infections like oral thrush and vaginal yeast infection.

It causes pityriasis versicolor, seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff.

Some of them are beneficial to humans like C. rugosa which produces lipases, and C. krusei which ferments cocoa during chocolate manufacture.

There are no such beneficial uses with Malassezia species.

Do explore BYJU’S Biology to learn more such exciting differences between concepts.

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Difference between Fungi and Lichens

Difference between Algae and Fungi

Difference between Moulds and Yeasts

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is mycobiota?

The term mycobiota refers to a group of fungi present in a particular habitat. For example, the mycobiota of the human gastrointestinal tract has several species of fungi among which the ones belonging to the Candida genera are most common.

What are the two large divisions of higher fungi?

The subkingdom of higher fungi is constituted by two large divisions namely – Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. In ascomycetes, the spores are made internally within a sac-like ascus. Whereas in basidiomycetes, the spores are made externally on specialised cells termed basidia.

What is candidal vulvovaginitis?

Candidal vulvovaginitis or vaginal yeast infection is caused due to excessive growth of Candida albicans. The infection results in vaginal itching and thick vaginal discharge. It is usually treated with antifungal medications.