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Acne bacterium clue to skin protection

Monday November 14th, 2016

A skin bacterium thought to be linked to acne may protect against a range of diseases, including sun damage, according to Swedish researchers.

The researchers have found that propionibacterium acnes contains an enzyme that protects against oxidative stress.

The enzyme is called RoxP and is also crucial for the bacterium's survival on human skin, according to the Lund University study.

The researchers say their findings could lead to RoxP being used in sunscreens and skin disease treatments.

The bacterium was first found on patients with acne, leading to it being thought as a cause of acne.

But, according to researcher Rolf Lood, this has never been proved.

Dr Lood said the next step would be studies involving human patients and laboratory mice.

He said: “This protein is important for the bacterium’s very survival on our skin. The bacterium improves its living environment by secreting RoxP, but in doing so it also benefits us.

“If the study results are positive, they could lead to the inclusion of RoxP in sunscreens and its use in the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis."

Scientific Reports 2 November 2016 [abstract]

Tags: Dermatology | Europe | MRSA & Hygiene

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