Skip to main content
© Africa Studio, AdobeStock

Is the acne vaccine coming soon?

A vaccine against the chronic inflammatory skin condition acne is on the horizon, thanks to a research team from the University of California San Diego. The study findings have been published in the journal "Nature."

These experts recently identified one of the microbial culprits of this disease and are now working on developing a vaccine aimed at preventing the outbreak of acne. According to researcher George Liu, acne can lead to significant stress and social stigmatization.

The bacterium Cutibacterium acnes, which affects nearly everyone, is the cause of acne. While many people experience no consequences, others, especially during puberty, suffer from pimples and other skin irritations. "People experience a lot of stress with acne, which leads to social stigmatization," says researcher George Liu. Liu's team has studied the differences between bacterial strains active in acne and those colonizing healthy skin areas. They discovered that the production of an enzyme called hyaluronidase by the bacteria contributes to acne formation by breaking down the skin's natural protective substance, hyaluronan, and alerting the body's immune defenses.

After identifying the small section in the bacteria's genome responsible for producing the enzyme, researchers tested various vaccine formulations targeting C. acnes. The initial formulation showed significant improvement in acne symptoms in mice injected with the bacteria strain that leads to acne. However, in mice containing the C. acnes strain responsible for clear skin, the vaccine worsened acne. Subsequently, they modified the vaccine to target more effectively. Tests in mice demonstrated that this vaccine significantly alleviates acne symptoms while having no adverse effects on healthy skin. Clinical trials are now needed to validate these findings before the vaccine can be routinely used.

This article is from the 3/2024 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.