Three dimensional distribution of Propionibacterium acnes biofilms in human skin.

Research paper by Anika C AC Jahns, Oleg A OA Alexeyev

Indexed on: 02 Jul '14Published on: 02 Jul '14Published in: Experimental Dermatology


Propionibacterium acnes is regarded as a common member of the human skin microbiota, often occurring in biofilms. Little is known about the size of bacterial biofilms in hair follicles as a few sections of biopsy tissue are routinely evaluated. Transversal sectioning provides a better opportunity for histological analyses of hair follicles which can be followed through the different morphological levels. Direct visualization of P. acnes biofilms in hundreds of consecutive sections allowed insight into the 3D distribution in human hair follicles as well as investigating the depth of biofilm distribution within hair follicles. Four distinct colonization patterns of P. acnes biofilms were revealed. Results have shown that an individual P. acnes biofilm can spread for 1900 μm in a terminal hair follicle. This information can be of help while designing potential antibiofilm treatment.