On the horizon: An acne vaccine

August 29, 2018

Berlin, August 29, 2018 - A new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports important steps that have been taken towards the development of an acne vaccine. The investigators demonstrated for the first time that antibodies to a toxin secreted from bacteria in acne vulgaris can reduce inflammation in human acne lesions.

"Once validated by a large-scale clinical trial, the potential impact of our findings is huge for the hundreds of millions of individuals suffering from acne vulgaris," explained lead investigator Chun-Ming Huang, PhD, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego. La Jolla, CA, USA, and Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan. "Current treatment options are often not effective or tolerable for many of the 85 percent of adolescents and more than 40 million adults in the United States who suffer from this multi-factorial cutaneous inflammatory condition. New, safe, and efficient therapies are sorely needed."

Even though acne is not a life-threatening disease, its psychological burden is high. It is difficult to conceal and frequently impairs the self-esteem of affected individuals, especially during adolescence -- a period of important physical, emotional, and social development. Acne lesions and/or scars may persist in adults. Current medications are often insufficient and can cause difficult-to-tolerate side effects ranging from skin dryness and irritation, to depression, suicidal thoughts, and increased rates of birth defects. An acne vaccination could circumvent potential adverse effects of topical or systemic retinoids and antibiotics, the current treatment options.

This vaccine would be the first to target bacteria already in human skin, instead of invading pathogens. After first demonstrating that Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor, a toxin secreted from the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, can induce inflammatory responses, the investigators explored in mice and ex vivo in human skin cells whether they could inhibit inflammation by employing antibodies to neutralize this virulence factor. Their findings show that the application of monoclonal antibodies to CAMP 2 factor did indeed decrease the inflammatory response.

Both the significance of the findings and the need for continuing research were expressed in an accompanying commentary. "While addressing an unmet medical need and providing an appealing approach, acne immunotherapies that target P. acnes-derived factors have to be cautiously designed to avoid unwanted disturbance of the microbiome that guarantees skin homeostasis. Whether or not CAMP factor-targeted vaccines will impact multiple P. acnes subtypes and other commensals has to be determined, but acne immunotherapy presents an interesting avenue to explore nonetheless," wrote Emmanuel Contassot, PhD, Dermatology Department, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

The choice of the antigen to be targeted is critical, not only as a determinant of the efficacy of the vaccine, but also to minimize possible unintended effects or cross-reactivity impairing the microbial equilibrium and skin barrier homeostasis. Future studies will address these factors and focus on engineering a non-toxic chemical or targeted vaccine formulation for its human application.

The findings support P. acnes CAMP factor as a promising target for acne immunotherapy. This is an important observation since CAMP factor had not been previously implicated in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. The study also provided a human acne model using acne biopsies, as there is not a fully satisfactory animal model for acne studies.
-end-


Elsevier

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.