• Gerd Plewig
  • Albert M. Kligman


For a long while acne was considered a bacterial infection; scholars quarreled whether aerobes or anaerobes were the infectious agents. The lesions shared features with pyodermas, namely, redness, tenderness, and, above all, suppuration. Injection of cultured organisms even produced pustules. In addition antibiotics were beneficial. Nonetheless, the question “do bacteria cause acne?” has given way to the more subtle one “do bacteria play any role in acne?”


Methylene Blue Sebaceous Follicle Follicular Epithelium Propionibacterium Acne Acne Patient 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akamatsu H, Nishijima S, Takahashi M, Ushijima T, Asada Y (1991) Effects of subminimal inhibitory concentrations of erythromycin, tetracycline, clindamycin, and minocycline on the neutrophil chemotactic factor production in Propionibacterium acnes biotypes 1–5. J Dermatol 18:247–251PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Allaker RP, Greenman J, Osborne RH, Gowers JI (1985) Cytotoxic activity of Propionibacterium acnes and other skin organisms. Br J Dermatol 113:229–235PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baird-Parker AC (1974) The basis for the present classification of staphylococci and micrococci. Ann NY Acad Sci 236:7–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bibel DJ, Aly R, Maibach HI, Leyden JJ, Shinefield HR, Akers WA, Burnett JW (1976) Nomenclature of staphylococci and micrococci. Arch Dermatol 112:1614–1615PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cove JH, Holland KT, Cunliffe WJ (1983) Effects of oxygen concentration on biomass production, maximum specific growth rate and extracellular enzyme production by three species of cutaneous Propionibacteria grown in continuous culture. J Gen Microbiol 129:3327–3334PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. De Young LM, Young JM, Bailaron SJ, Spires DA, Puhvel SM (1984) Intradermal injection of Propionibacterium acnes: a model of inflammation relevant to acne. J Invest Dermatol 83:394–398PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hoeffler U, Ko HL, Pulverer G (1976) Antimicrobial susceptibicity of Propionibacterium acnes and related microbial species. Antimicrob Agent Chemother 10:387–394Google Scholar
  8. Holland KT (1989) Microbiology of acne. In: Cunliffe WJ Acne. Dunitz, London, pp 178–210Google Scholar
  9. Kloos WE, Schleifer KH (1975) Isolation and characterization of staphylococci from human skin. II. Description of four new species, Staphylococcus warneri, Staphylococcus capitis, Staphylococcus hominis, and Staphylococcus simulans. Int J Syst Bacteriol 25:62–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lavker RM, Leyden JJ, McGinley KJ (1981) The relationship between bacteria and the abnormal follicular keratinization in acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol 77:325–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Leyden JJ, McGinley KJ, Foglia AN (1986) Qualitative and quantitative changes in cutaneous bacteria associated with systemic isotretinoin therapy for acne conglobata. J Invest Dermatol 86:390–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McGinley KJ, Webster GF, Ruggieri MR, Leyden JJ (1978) Regional variations of cutaneous Propionibacteria. Correlation of Propionibacterium acnes population with sebaceous secretion. J Clin Microbiol 12:672–675Google Scholar
  13. Metze D, Kersten A, Jurecka W, Gebhart W (1991) Immunoglobulins coat microorganisms of skin surface: a comparative immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study of cutaneous and oral microbial symbionts. J Invest Dermatol 96:439–445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nordstrom KM, Labows JN, McGinley KJ, Leyden JJ (1986) Characterization of wax esters, triglycerides and free fatty acids of follicular casts. J Invest Dermatol 86:700–705PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Puhvel SM, Amirian DA (1979) Bacterial flora of comedones. Br J Dermatol 101:543–548PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Puhvel SM, Sakamoto M (1977) An in vivo evaluation of the inflammatory effect of purified comedonal components in human skin. J Invest Dermatol 69:401–406PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Singer RE, Buckner BA (1981) Butyrate and propionate: important components of toxic dental plaque extracts. Infect Immun 32:458–463PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Webster GF, Cummins CS (1978) Use of bacteriophage typing to distinguish Propionibacterium acne types I and II. J Clin Microbiol 7:84–90PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Wolff HH, Plewig G (1976) Ultrastruktur der Mikroflora in Follikeln und Komedonen. Hautarzt 27:432–440PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Cornelius CE, Ludwig GD (1967) Red fluorescence of comedones: production of porphyrins by Corynebacterium acnes. J Invest Dermatol 49:368–370PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Formanek I, Fanta D, Poitscheck CH, Turner J (1977) Porphyrinproduktion des Propionibacterium acnes. Arch Dermatol Res 259:169–176PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoppe U, Sauermann G (1990) Moderne kosmetische Wirkstoffe und der Nachweis ihrer Funktion. Z Hautkr 65:123–131PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Martin RJ, Kahn G, Gooding JW, Brown G (1973) Cutaneous porphyrin fluorescence as an indicator of antibiotic absorption and effectiveness. Cutis 12:758–764Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Plewig
    • 1
  • Albert M. Kligman
    • 2
  1. 1.Dermatologische Klinik und PoliklinikUniversität MünchenMünchen 2Germany
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations