Understanding the role of Propionibacterium acnes in acne vulgaris: the critical importance of skin sampling methodologies

Hélène Omer, Andrew McDowell, Oleg Alexeyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, classified by the Global Burden of Disease Study as the eighth most prevalent disease worldwide. The pathophysiology of the condition has been extensively studied, with an increase in sebum production, abnormal keratinization of the pilosebaceous follicle, and an inflammatory immune response all implicated in its etiology. One of the most disputed points, however, is the role of the Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Propionibacterium acnes in the development of acne, particularly when this organism is also found in normal sebaceous follicles of healthy skin. Against this background, we now describe the different sampling strategies that have been adopted for qualitative and quantitative study of P. acnes within intact hair follicles of the skin, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of such methodologies for investigating the role of P. acnes in the development of acne.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
JournalClinics in Dermatology
Volume35
Early online date27 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Skin
  • acne
  • Propionibacterium acnes
  • inflammation
  • skin swab
  • skin biopsy
  • gel biopsy
  • comedone extraction
  • phylogroups
  • biofilm

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