Acne Just Got Uglier

Acne bug might be to blame in certain infections

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) P. acnes, the bug that causes pimples, might also cause infection from contaminated skin, according to new research.

Recent studies point to P. acnes bacteria already existing in the body as culpable in surgery-site infections, as opposed to the standard culprit, bacteria transferred to an open wound from the skin during an operation such as Staphylococcus aureus.

Aston University researcher Peter Lambert said treating for bacteria aside from P. acnes (when it is to blame) could result in complications for patients suffering infection. It's vital P. acnes isn't ignored as a possible cause of infection, Lambert said, and that the public is made aware of the bug's infection capabilities. P acnes is often overlooked, even by physicians, when found in blood and tissue swabs taken from patients.

P. acnes has long been associated with pimples that plague adolescents and some adults, causing pain and inflammation, but recent studies also suggest the bug may play a role in other conditions, such as prostate cancer, according to professor Lambert, an expert in P. acnes infections.

Lambert presents "Propionibacterium acnes: an emerging pathogen" this week at the Denver Russell Memorial lecture at the Society for Applied Microbiology Winter Meeting 2011.

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Review Date: 
January 12, 2011
Last Updated:
January 12, 2011