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Microb Pathog. 2009 Feb;46(2):80-7. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2008.10.013. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Characterization of Propionibacterium acnes isolates from sarcoid and non-sarcoid tissues with special reference to cell invasiveness, serotype, and trigger factor gene polymorphism.

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Department of Human Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.


Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology. Propionibacterium acnes is the only microorganism so far isolated from sarcoid lesions. To examine whether P. acnes isolates from sarcoid tissues differ from those obtained from non-sarcoid tissues, we studied cell invasiveness, serotype, and polymorphisms of the P. acnes trigger factor protein and the two invasion-associated proteins (named PAmce and PAp60) in 35 P. acnes isolates from sarcoid lymph nodes and 127 isolates from non-sarcoid tissues. Most of the serotype I isolates (79/112; 71%), but none of the serotype II isolates (0/50) were cell-invasive. Two prominent types of trigger factors, one with and one without a 15 amino acid-residue deletion, corresponded to serotype II and serotype I, respectively. Non-invasive isolates had genomic mutations that caused more than one amino acid change in either the PAmce or PAp60 gene, with four exceptional isolates. P. acnes was finally classified into nine isotypes, and isolates obtained from sarcoid and non-sarcoid tissue did not differ. Although the finding did not link P. acnes to sarcoidosis, the present study clarified the cell invasiveness of P. acnes and the close correlation of cell invasiveness to the serotype and genotype of the two invasion-associated P. acnes genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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