The Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 137–142 | Cite as

Effect of Lactobacillus reuteri on the proliferation of Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis

  • Mi-Sun Kang
  • Jong-Suk Oh
  • Seok-Woo Lee
  • Hoi-Soon Lim
  • Nam-Ki Choi
  • Seon-Mi KimEmail author


While it is generally accepted that Propionibacterium acnes is involved in the development of acne, other bacteria including Staphylococcus epidermidis have also been isolated from the acne lesion. The interaction between Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic bacterium, and acnegenic bacteria is unclear. This study examined the effects of L. reuteri on the proliferation of P. acnes and S. epidermidis. Human-derived L. reuteri strains (KCTC 3594 and KCTC 3678) and rat-derived L. reuteri KCTC 3679 were used. All strains exhibited significant inhibitory effects on the growth of P. acnes and S. epidermidis. The proliferation of P. acnes was decreased by 2-log scales after incubation with L. reuteri for 24 h. In addition, the proliferation of S. epidermidis was decreased by 3-log scales after incubation with L. reuteri for 24 h, whereas the growth of L. reuteri was unaffected by P. acnes or S. epidermidis. Among the L. reuteri strains examined, L. reuteri KCTC 3679 had the strongest inhibitory effect on the growth of P. acnes and S. epidermidis, followed by L. reuteri KCTC 3594 and L. reuteri KCTC 3678. Interestingly, reuterin, an antimicrobial factor, was produced only by L. reuteri KCTC 3594. The most pronounced the antibacterial activities of L. reuteri were attributed to the production of organic acids. Overall, these results suggest that L. reuteri may be a useful probiotic agent to control the growth of bacteria involved in acne inflammation and prevent acne.


Lactobacillus reuteri Propionibacterium acnes Staphylococcus epidermidis antibacterial 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mi-Sun Kang
    • 1
  • Jong-Suk Oh
    • 1
  • Seok-Woo Lee
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hoi-Soon Lim
    • 3
  • Nam-Ki Choi
    • 2
    • 4
  • Seon-Mi Kim
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, School of MedicineChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Dental Science Research InstituteChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Dental EducationChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Pediatric DentistryChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea

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