Skip to main content

The Acne Biofilm

  • Chapter

Abstract

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 [1], its concept as a pathogen greatly declined. In 1963, Kirschbaum and Kligman [2] 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 [3] to direct induction of Toll-like receptors in keratinocytes [4]. 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.

Keywords

  • Sebaceous Gland
  • Cystic Fibrosis Lung
  • Neutrophil Chemotaxis
  • Propionibacterium Acne
  • Acne Lesion

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-69375-8_19
  • Chapter length: 5 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   189.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-540-69375-8
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   239.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 19.1

References

  1. Lovejoy ED, Hastings TW. Isolation and growth of the Acne Bacillus. J Cutan Dis. 1911;80–80.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Kirschbaum JO, Kligman AM. The pathogenic role of Corynebacterium acnes in acne. Arch Dermatol. 1963;88:832–3.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Lee WL, Shalita AR, Suntharalingam K, Fikrig SM. Neutrophil chemotaxis by Propionibacterium acnes lipase and its inhibition. Infect Immun. 1982;35:71–8.

    PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Jugeau S, Tenaud I, Knol AC, Jarrousse V, Quereux G, Khammari A, Dreno B. Induction of toll-like receptors by Propionibacterium acnes. Br J Dermatol. 2005;153:1105–13.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Costerton JW, Geesey GG, Cheng KJ. How bacteria stick. Sci Am. 1978;238:86–95.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Davey ME, O’Toole GA. Microbial biofilms: from ecology to molecular genetics. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2000;64:847–67.

    CrossRef  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Donlan RM, Costerton JW. Biofilms: survival mechanisms of clinically relevant microorganisms. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2002;15:167–93.

    CrossRef  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  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.

    PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Post JC. Direct evidence of bacterial biofilms in otitis media. Laryngoscope. 2001;111:2083–94.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Stoodley P, Sauer K, Davies DG, Costerton JW. Biofilms as complex differentiated communities. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2002;56:187–209.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Keren I, Kaldalu N, Spoering A, Wang YP, Lewis K. Persister cells and tolerance to antimicrobials. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004;230:13–8.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Lewis K. Riddle of biofilm resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001;45:999–1007.

    CrossRef  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Miller MB, Bassler BL. Quorum sensing in bacteria. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2001;55:165–99.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Waters CM, Bassler BL. Quorum sensing: cell-to-cell communication in bacteria. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2005;21:319–46.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Bruggemann H, Henne A, Hoster F, Liesegang H, Wiezer A, Strittmatter A, Hujer S, Durre P, Gottschalk G. The complete genome sequence of Propionibacterium acnes, a commensal of human skin. Science. 2004;305:671–3.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Burkhart CN, Burkhart CG. Genome sequence of Propionibacterium acnes reveals immunogenic and surface-associated genes confirming existence of the acne biofilm. Int J Dermatol. 2006;45:872.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Coenye T, Peeters E, Nelis HJ. Biofilm formation by Propionibacterium acnes is associated with increased resistance to antimicrobial agents and increased production of putative virulence factors. Res Microbiol. 2007;158(4):386–92.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Passerini L, Phang PT, Jackson FL, Lam K, Costerton JW, King EG. Biofilms on right heart flow-directed catheters. Chest. 1987;92:440–6.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google 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.

    PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Ramage G, Tunney MM, Patrick S, Gorman SP, Nixon JR. Formation of Propionibacterium acnes biofilms on orthopaedic biomaterials and their susceptibility to antimicrobials. Biomaterials. 2003;24:3221–7.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Bayston R, Ashraf W, Barker-Davies R, Tucker E, Clement R, Clayton J, Freeman BJC, Nuradeen B. Biofilm formation by Propionibacterium acnes on biomaterials in vitro and in vivo: impact on diagnosis and treatment. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2007;81A:705–9.

    CrossRef  CAS  Google 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 

  23. Lai JY, Chen KH, Lin YC, Hsu WM, Lee SM. Propionibacterium acnes DNA from an explanted intraocular lens detected by polymerase chain reaction in a case of chronic pseudophakic endophthalmitis. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2006;32:522–5.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Alexeyev OA, Marklund I, Shannon B, Golovleva I, Olsson J, Andersson C, Eriksson I, Cohen R, Elgh F. Direct visualization of Propionibacterium acnes in prostate tissue by multicolor fluorescent in situ hybridization assay. J Clin Microbiol. 2007;45:3721–8.

    CrossRef  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Qi X, Gao J, Sun D, Liang W, Wan Y, Li C, Xu X, Gao T. Biofilm formation of the pathogens of fatal bacterial granuloma after trauma: potential mechanism underlying the failure of traditional antibiotic treatments. Scand J Infect Dis. 2008;40:221–8.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Burkhart CN, Burkhart CG. Microbiology’s principle of biofilms as a major factor in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Int J Dermatol. 2003;42:925–7.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Bayston R, Nuradeen B, Ashraf W, Freeman BJC. Antibiotics for the eradication of Propionibacterium acnes biofilms in surgical infection. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007;60:1298–301.

    CrossRef  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Higaki S. Lipase inhibitors for the treatment of acne. J Mol Catal B Enzym. 2003;22:377–84.

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Farrar MD, Ingham E. Acne: inflammation. Clin Dermatol. 2004;22:380–4.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Zhu J, Miller MB, Vance RE, Dziejman M, Bassler BL, Mekalanos JJ. Quorum-sensing regulators control virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:3129–34.

    CrossRef  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kris Honraet .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Honraet, K., Rossel, B., Coenye, T. (2014). The Acne Biofilm. In: Zouboulis, C., Katsambas, A., Kligman, A. (eds) Pathogenesis and Treatment of Acne and Rosacea. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-69375-8_19

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-69375-8_19

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-540-69374-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-540-69375-8

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)