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The cutaneous microflora of adolescent, persistent andlate-onset acne patients does not differ

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The cutaneous microbiology and antibody status to Propionibacterium acnes of patients with persistent (males, n = 32; females, n = 33) and late-onset (females, n = 25) acne were compared with individuals with adolescent acne (males, n = 22; females, n = 18) and normal control volunteers (persistent acne: males, n = 26; females, n = 30; late-onset: females, n = 20). Males had significantly higher grades of acne compared with females (P < 0·05). The microflora consisted in the main of propionibacteria, staphylococci and Malassezia; other bacteria represented less than 0·01% of the total microflora. At all sites for all samples there were significantly more propionibacteria than staphylococci or Malassezia (P < 0·05). There were significantly higher (P < 0·05) numbers of microorganisms in follicular casts from patients compared with their control volunteers for female facial skin and male back skin. Twenty-six papules and 48 normal follicles were analysed. A bimodal distribution of microbial colonization was noted, with about 90% of normal follicles and about 10% of acne follicles having no detectable viable microorganisms. Anti-P. acnes IgG antibody titres were measured using a secondary fluorescein isothiocyanate antibody technique, and no significant differences in titre were found between any groups of patients (P > 0·05). Correlation analysis showed no association between the population densities of P. acnes and anti-P. acnes IgG titres. There were no differences in the microbiology of skin of adolescent acne patients, persistent acne patients or late-onset acne patients which could account for these various forms of acne.
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Keywords: adolescent acne; cutaneous microflora; late-onset acne; persistent acne

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Skin Research Centre, Microbiology Department, Leeds University, Leeds LS2 9JT, U.K. 2: Leeds Foundation for Dermatological Research, Department of Dermatology, The General Infirmary at Leeds, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, U.K.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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