Relationship between the severity of acne vulgaris and antimicrobial resistance of bacteria isolated from acne lesions in a hospital in Japan.

Research paper by Keisuke K Nakase, Hidemasa H Nakaminami, Yuko Y Takenaka, Nobukazu N Hayashi, Makoto M Kawashima, Norihisa N Noguchi

Indexed on: 14 Feb '14Published on: 14 Feb '14Published in: Journal of medical microbiology


Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis are normal skin inhabitants that are frequently isolated from lesions caused by acne, and these micro-organisms are considered to contribute to the inflammation of acne. In the present study, we examined the antimicrobial susceptibilities and resistance mechanisms of P. acnes and S. epidermidis isolated from patients with acne vulgaris in a university hospital in Japan from 2009 to 2010. Additionally, we analysed the relationship between the antimicrobial resistance of P. acnes and the severity of acne vulgaris. Some P. acnes strains (18.8 %; 13/69) were resistant to clindamycin. All strains had a mutation in the 23S rRNA gene, except for one strain that expressed erm(X) encoding a 23S rRNA methylase. Tetracycline-resistant P. acnes strains were found to represent 4.3 % (3/69) of the strains, and this resistance was caused by a mutation in the 16S rRNA gene. Furthermore, three strains with reduced susceptibility to nadifloxacin (MIC = 16 µg ml(-1)) were detected. When analysing the correlation between the antimicrobial resistance of P. acnes and S. epidermidis, more than 80 % of the patients who carried clindamycin-resistant P. acnes also carried clindamycin-resistant S. epidermidis. However, no epidemic strain that exhibited antimicrobial resistance was detected in the P. acnes strains when analysed by PFGE. Therefore, our results suggest that the antimicrobial resistance of P. acnes is closely related to antimicrobial therapy. Additionally, those P. acnes strains tended to be frequently found in severe acne patients rather than in mild acne patients. Consequently, the data support a relationship between using antimicrobial agents and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.