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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Abad, C.L. and Safdar, N. 2009. The role of lactobacillus probiotics in the treatment or prevention of urogenital infections - a systematic review. J. Chemother. 21, 243–252.
Ahola, A.J., Yli-Knuuttila, H., Suomalainen, T., Poussa, T., Ahlström, A., Meurman, J.H., and Korpela, R. 2002. Short-term consumption of probiotic-containing cheese and its effect on dental caries risk factors. Arch. Oral Biol. 47, 799–804.
Ahrné, S., Nobaek, S., Jeppsson, B., Adlerberth, I., Wold, A.E., and Molin, G. 1998. The normal Lactobacillus flora of healthy human rectal and oral mucosa. J. Appl. Microbiol. 85, 88–94.
Bettley, F.R. and Dale, T.L. 1976. The local treatment of acne. Br. J. Clin. Pract. 30, 67–69.
Breathnach, A.S., Nazzaro-Porro, M., and Passi, S. 1984. Azelaic acid. Br. J. Dermatol. 111, 115–120.
Burkhart, C.G., Burkhart, C.N., and Lehmann, P.F. 1999. Acne: a review of immunologic and microbiologic factors. Postgrad. Med. J. 75, 328–331.
Çaglar, E., Cildir, S.K., Ergeneli, S., Sandalli, N., and Twetman, S. 2006. Salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli levels after ingestion of the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 by straws or tablets. Acta Odontol. Scand. 64, 314–318.
Cleusix, V., Lacroix, C., Vollenweider, S., Duboux, M., and Le Blay, G. 2007. Inhibitory activity spectrum of reuterin produced by Lactobacillus reuteri against intestinal bacteria. BMC Microbiol. 7, 101.
Cogen, A.L., Nizet, V., and Gallo, R.L. 2008. Skin microbiota: a source of disease or defence? Br. J. Dermatol. 158, 442–455.
El-Ziney, M.G., van den Tempel, T., Debevere, J., and Jakobsen, M. 1999. Application of reuterin produced by Lactobacillus reuteri 12002 for meat decontamination and preservation. J. Food Prot. 62, 257–261.
Eschenbach, D.A., Davick, P.R., Williams, B.L., Klebanoff, S.J., Young-Smith, K., Critchlow, C.M., and Holmes, K.K. 1989. Prevalence of hydrogen peroxide-producing Lactobacillus species in normal women and women with bacterial vaginosis. J. Clin. Microbiol. 27, 251–256.
Gill, H.S., Shu, Q., Lin, H., Rutherfurd, K.J., and Cross, M.L. 2001. Protection against translocating Salmonella typhimurium infection in mice by feeding the immuno-enhancing probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain HN001. Med. Microbiol. Immunol. 190, 97–104.
Guarner, F., Perdigon, G., Corthier, G., Salminen, S., Koletzko, B., and Morelli, L. 2005. Should yoghurt cultures be considered probiotic? Br. J. Nutr. 93, 783–786.
Guin, J.D., Huber, D.S., and Gielerak, P.L. 1979. Antibiotic sensitivity of comedonal Propionibacterium acnes. Acta Derm. Venereol. 59, 552–554.
Holland, K.T., Cunliffe, W.J., and Eady, E.A. 1979. Intergeneric and intrageneric inhibition between strains of Propionibacterium acnes and micrococcaceae, particularly Staphylococcus epidermidis, isolated from normal skin and acne lesions. J. Med. Microbiol. 12, 71–82.
Ishihara, K., Miyakawa, H., Hasegawa, A., Takazoe, I., and Kawai, Y. 1985. Growth inhibition of Streptococcus mutans by cellular extracts of human intestinal lactic acid bacteria. Infect. Immun. 49, 692–694.
Johnson, M.L., Johnson, K.G., and Engel, A. 1984. Prevalence, morbidity, and cost of dermatological diseases. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 11, 930–936.
Kang, M.S., Oh, J.S., Lee, H.C., Lim, H.S., Lee, S.W., Yang, K.H., Choi, N.K., and Kim, S.M. 2011. Inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus reuteri on periodontopathic and cariogenic bacteria. J. Microbiol. 49, 193–199.
Kang, B.S., Seo, J.G., Lee, G.S., Kim, J.H., Kim, S.Y., Han, Y.W., Kang, H., Kim, H.O., Rhee, J.H., Chung, M.J., and et al. 2009. Antimicrobial activity of enterocins from Enterococcus faecalis SL-5 against Propionibacterium acnes, the causative agent in acne vulgaris, and its therapeutic effect. J. Microbiol. 47, 101–109.
Koreck, A., Pivarcsi, A., Dobozy, A., and Kemény, L. 2003. The role of innate immunity in the pathogenesis of acne. Dermatology 206, 96–105.
Leyden, J.J. 1997. Therapy for acne vulgaris. N. Engl. J. Med. 336, 1156–1162.
Leyden, J.J., Del Rosso, J.Q., and Webster, G.F. 2007. Clinical considerations in the treatment of acne vulgaris and other inflammatory skin disorders: focus on antibiotic resistance. Cutis 79, 9–25.
Lüthi-Peng, Q., Schärer, S., and Puhan, Z. 2002. Production and stability of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde in Lactobacillus reuteri. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 60, 73–80.
Meisler, D.M. and Mandelbaum, S. 1989. Propionibacterium-associated endophthalmitis after extracapsular cataract extraction. Review of reported cases. Ophthalmology 96, 54–61.
Nam, C., Kim, S., Sim, Y., and Chang, I. 2003. Anti-acne effects of Oriental herb extracts: a novel screening method to select antiacne agents. Skin Pharmacol. Appl. Skin Physiol. 16, 84–90.
Nikawa, H., Makihira, S., Fukushima, H., Nishimura, H., Ozaki, Y., and Ishida, K. 2004. Lactobacillus reuteri in bovine milk fermented decreases the oral carriage of mutans streptococci. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 95, 219–223.
Niyomkam, P., Kaewbumrung, S., Kaewnpparat, S., and Panichayupakaranant, P. 2010. Antibacterial activity of Thai herbal extracts on acne involved microorganism. Pharm. Biol. 48, 375–380.
Ochsendorf, F. 2006. Systemic antibiotic therapy of acne vulgaris. J. Dtsch. Dermatol. Ges. 4, 828–841.
Patel, M., Bowe, W.P., Heughebaert, C., and Shalita, A.R. 2010. The development of antimicrobial resistance due to the antibiotic treatment of acne vulgaris: a review. J. Drugs Dermatol. 9, 655–664.
Reid, G., Burton, J., and Devillard, E. 2004. The rationale for probiotics in female urogenital healthcare. Med. Gen. Med. 6, 49.
Saavedra, J. 2000. Probiotics and infectious diarrhea. Am. J. Gastroenterol. 95, 16–18.
Shornikova, A.V., Casas, I.A., Mykkänen, H., Salo, E., and Vesikari, T. 1997. Bacteriotherapy with Lactobacillus reuteri in rotavirus gastroenteritis. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 16, 1103–1107.
Slininger, P.J., Bothast, R.J., and Smiley, K.L. 1983. Production of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde from glycerol. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 46, 62–67.
Spinler, J.K., Taweechotipatr, M., Rognerud, C.L., Ou, C.N., Tumwasorn, S., and Versalovic, J. 2008. Human-derived probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri demonstrate antimicrobial activities targeting diverse enteric bacterial pathogens. Anaerobe 14, 166–171.
Szajewska, H. and Mrukowicz, J.Z. 2005. Use of probiotics in children with acute diarrhea. Paediatr. Drugs 7, 111–122.
Talarico, T.L., Casas, I.A., Chung, T.C., and Dobrogosz, W.J. 1988. Production and isolation of reuterin, a growth inhibitor produced by Lactobacillus reuteri. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 32, 1854–1858.
Taniguchi, M., Nakazawa, H., Takeda, O., Kaneko, T., Hoshino, K., and Tanaka, T. 1998. Production of a mixture of antimicrobial organic acids from lactose by co-culture of Bifidobacterium longum and Propionibacterium freudenreichii. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 62, 1522–1527.
Webster, G.F., Leyden, J.J., Tsai, C.C., Baehni, P., and McArthur, W.P. 1980. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte lysosomal release in response to Propionibacterium acnes in vitro and its enhancement by sera from inflammatory acne patients. J. Invest. Dermatol. 74, 398–401.
Zouboulis, C.C. and Piquero-Martin, J. 2003. Update and future of systemic acne treatment. Dermatology 206, 37–53.
About this article
Cite this article
Kang, MS., Oh, JS., Lee, SW. et al. Effect of Lactobacillus reuteri on the proliferation of Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis . J Microbiol. 50, 137–142 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12275-012-1286-3
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Propionibacterium acnes
- Staphylococcus epidermidis