Propionibacteria and disease

Andrew Mc Dowell, Istvan Nagy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


From a medical microbiology perspective, the species Propionibacterium acnes, Propionibacterium avidum, Propionibacterium granulosum, and Propionibacterium propionicum, are the most relevant within the genus Propionibacterium. Of these, Propionibacterium acnes has the greatest pathogenic potential and is associated with a diverse range of infections and clinical conditions, ranging from inflammatory acne to prosthetic joint infections and prostate cancer. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the genus Propionibacterium, and describe the role played by the ‘cutaneous’ propionibacteria, especially P. acnes, in human disease. We also cover virulence factors, mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, insights from whole-genome sequencing and immune responses. The potential therapeutic effects of propionibacteria when used as adjuvants/vaccines are also considered, along with molecular-based approaches for differentiation and characterization of propionibacteria associated with human infection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Medical Microbiology (second edition)
EditorsYi-Wei Tang, Max Sussman, Dongyou Liu, Ian Poxton, Joseph D Schwartzman
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780123977632
ISBN (Print)9780123971692
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014


  • antibiotic resistance
  • cutaneous
  • genomics
  • immune response
  • pathogenicity
  • propionibacteria


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