Researchers working on vaccine for acne

September 26, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report

(Medical Xpress) -- With 85 percent of teenagers and some 40 million Americans suffering with acne, researchers from the University of California and the vaccine company Sanofi-Pasteur announced they are coming together to develop a vaccine and treatment for acne.

Acne is caused when oil-producing sebaceous glands are clogged and the natural bacteria fight to break out. The body senses bacteria and triggers the which causes inflammation and creates the pimple. Current treatments include benzoyl peroxide and that are designed to kill the . The only problem with this is that they also kill off normal bacteria and can result in strains of the bacteria responsible for causing , Propionibacterium acnes.

When it comes to acne research, a major obstacle researcher’s face is animal subjects to work with. Mice do not get acne. Chun-Ming Huang and his team found a way around this by injecting the bacteria P. acnes into the skin of a mouse’s ear which caused a similar inflammation. In 2008, the team reported that a nasal spray vaccine containing dead P. acnes showed a reduction in the inflammation.

The only problem with something that targets and kills bacteria is that normal bacteria, or flora, are necessary for skin health. To work around this, the team of researchers looked at targeting the protein CAMP. CAMP is used by bacteria to kill the host cells. The team isolated a CAMP gene in P. acnes which was coded for a protein that kills cells in the sebaceous glands and causes inflammation.

Antibodies to CAMP were added to a colony of P. acnes and the antibodies bound to the CAMP in the bacteria, preventing the effects. When given to the mice, there was much less inflammation present than the mice with the unchanged P. acnes.

The idea of this new vaccine is to disrupt the caused by the P. acnes protein while leaving the normal flora required for healthy skin intact. One possible delivery method the researchers are looking at is the use of micro-needles to deliver monoclonal antibodies to CAMP directly into the skin of patients with acne.

More information: Press release

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Hibernating ground squirrels provide clues to new stroke treatments

November 17, 2017
In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels.

Age and gut bacteria contribute to multiple sclerosis disease progression

November 17, 2017
Researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School published a study suggesting that gut bacteria at young age can contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) disease onset and progression.

Molecular guardian defends cells, organs against excess cholesterol

November 16, 2017
A team of researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health has illuminated a critical player in cholesterol metabolism that acts as a molecular guardian in cells to help maintain cholesterol levels within a safe, ...

Prototype ear plug sensor could improve monitoring of vital signs

November 16, 2017
Scientists have developed a sensor that fits in the ear, with the aim of monitoring the heart, brain and lungs functions for health and fitness.

Ancient enzyme could boost power of liquid biopsies to detect and profile cancers

November 16, 2017
Scientists are developing a set of medical tests called liquid biopsies that can rapidly detect the presence of cancers, infectious diseases and other conditions from only a small blood sample. Researchers at The University ...

FDA to crack down on risky stem cell offerings

November 16, 2017
U.S. health authorities announced plans Thursday to crack down on doctors pushing stem cell procedures that pose the gravest risks to patients amid an effort to police a burgeoning medical field that previously has received ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Quasi_Intellectual
1 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2011
"Wow, I'm in pizza-face paradise!"
Pimply-faced teen - The Simpsons

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.