The Acne Biofilm
Around the beginning of the nineteenth century, Unna isolated Corynebacterium acnes (now known as Propionibacterium acnes) from acne lesions in patients, establishing the link between acne and local P. acnes infection. However, later when P. acnes was also isolated from normal, healthy skin , its concept as a pathogen greatly declined. In 1963, Kirschbaum and Kligman  re-confirmed P. acnes as a factor involved in the complex pathogenesis of acne by showing that an injection of viable P. acnes into sterile steatocystomas (as a model for sterile acne comedones) could convert these quiescent cysts into inflammatory lesions. Since then research has revealed that P. acnes influences inflammation through a wide range of pathways, ranging from neutrophil chemotaxis by P. acnes lipase  to direct induction of Toll-like receptors in keratinocytes . However, the question remains whether this commensal is capable of initiating inflammation in the sebaceous gland and if so, why colonization does not always result in inflammation. In other words, what triggers P. acnes to play its part in acne? The answer to this question may very well be found using the concept of microbial biofilms.
KeywordsSebaceous Gland Cystic Fibrosis Lung Neutrophil Chemotaxis Propionibacterium Acne Acne Lesion
- 1.Lovejoy ED, Hastings TW. Isolation and growth of the Acne Bacillus. J Cutan Dis. 1911;80–80.Google Scholar
- 8.May TB, Shinabarger D, Maharaj R, Kato J, Chu L, Devault JD, Roychoudhury S, Zielinski NA, Berry A, Rothmel RK, Misra TK, Chakrabarty AM. Alginate synthesis by Pseudomonas aeruginosa – a key pathogenic factor in chronic pulmonary infections of cystic fibrosis patients. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1991;4:191–206.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 19.Tunney MM, Patrick S, Curran MD, Ramage G, Hanna D, Nixon JR, Gorman SP, Davis RI, Anderson N. Detection of prosthetic hip infection at revision arthroplasty by immunofluorescence microscopy and PCR amplification of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. J Clin Microbiol. 1999;37:3281–90.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 22.Guio L, Sarria C, Sala M, Sanchez Madrid F, McDowell A, Las Cuevas C, Gamallo C, Duarte J. Demonstration of biofilm in vitro propionibacterium acnes prosthetic valve endocarditis. Clin Res Cardiol. 2007;96:446–7.Google Scholar