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Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 6;8(1):11766. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29580-7.

Control of Propionibacterium acnes by natural antimicrobial substances: Role of the bacteriocin AS-48 and lysozyme.

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Microbiology Department, Faculty of Sciences, C/Fuentenueva s/n, University of Granada, 18071, Granada, Spain.
Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Dermatology Department, Virgen de las Nieves Hospital, Carretera de Jaén, s/n, 18013, Granada, Spain.
Microbiology Service, Virgen de las Nieves Hospital, Avenida de las Fuerzas Armadas, 2, 18014, Granada, Spain.
Microbiology Department, Faculty of Sciences, C/Fuentenueva s/n, University of Granada, 18071, Granada, Spain.


We report the high susceptibility of several clinical isolates of Propionibacterium acnes from different sources (skin, bone, wound exudates, abscess or blood contamination) to the head-to-tail cyclized bacteriocin AS-48. This peptide is a feasible candidate for further pharmacological development against this bacterium, due to its physicochemical and biological characteristics, even when it is growing in a biofilm. Thus, the treatment of pre-formed biofilms with AS-48 resulted in a dose- and time-dependent disruption of the biofilm architecture beside the decrease of bacterial viability. Furthermore, we demonstrated the potential of lysozyme to bolster the inhibitory activity of AS-48 against P. acnes, rendering high reductions in the MIC values, even in matrix-growing cultures, according to the results obtained using a range of microscopy and bioassay techniques. The improvement of the activity of AS-48 through its co-formulation with lysozyme may be considered an alternative in the control of P. acnes, especially after proving the absence of cytotoxicity demonstrated by these natural compounds on relevant human skin cell lines. In summary, this study supports that compositions comprising the bacteriocin AS-48 plus lysozyme must be considered as promising candidates for topical applications with medical and pharmaceutical purposes against dermatological diseases such as acne vulgaris.

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