From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Propionibacterium acnes.tif
Cutibacterium (formerly Propionibacterium) acnes
Scientific classification e
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinomycetota
Class: Actinomycetia
Order: Propionibacteriales
Family: Propionibacteriaceae
Genus: Propionibacterium
Orla-Jensen 1909 (Approved Lists 1980)[1]

P. acidifaciens[2]
P. acidipropionici[2]
P. australiense[2]
P. avidum[2]
P. cyclohexanicum[2]
P. damnosum[2]
P. freudenreichii [2]
P. granulosum[2]
P. jensenii[2]
P. lymphophilum [2]
P. microaerophilu[2]
P. namnetense[2]
P. propionicus[2]
P. thoenii[2]

Propionibacterium is a gram-positive, anaerobic, rod-shaped genus of bacteria named for their unique metabolism: They are able to synthesize propionic acid by using unusual transcarboxylase enzymes.[4]

Its members are primarily facultative parasites and commensals of humans and other animals, living in and around the sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and other areas of the skin. They are virtually ubiquitous and do not cause problems for most people, but propionibacteria have been implicated in acne and other skin conditions.[5] One study found the Propionibacterium was the most prevalent human skin-associated genus of microorganisms.[6]

Members of the genus Propionibacterium are widely used in the production of vitamin B12, tetrapyrrole compounds, and propionic acid, as well as in the probiotics and cheese industries.[7]

The strain Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii is used in cheesemaking to create CO2 bubbles that become "eyes"—round holes in the cheese.[8]


Propionibacterium spp. are commensal bacteria that can occasionally cause infectious diseases. The most studied of these infections is acne vulgaris, caused by Cutibacterium acnes (formerly Propionibacterium acnes).[9] It is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by the blockage of pilosebaceous units causing inflammatory lesions, non-inflammatory lesions or a mixture of both on the face, neck and/or chest.[10][11] Acne vulgaris cannot be defined as an infectious disease since the bacteria is found on a vast majority of individuals without causing lesions.[10] C. acnes colonize the skin only under certain favorable conditions. In most cases, C. acnes get trapped under the comedones where they proliferate to form micro-comedones, not visible to the naked eye,[12] which can later form structures such as closed comedones (white heads) and open comedones.[10] These comedones can rupture, releasing the follicular material inside the dermis. The cause of this rupture was thought to be the indirect effect of fat metabolism by the bacteria, however it was later found that bacteria are directly involved in comedome rupturing by producing factors such as proteases, hyaluronidases and neuraminidases which might be involved in thinning of the epithelium.[13] C. acnes can also produce immune factors such as proinflammatory cytokine inducing-factors[14] and chemotactic factors,[15] and can induce host complement pathways.[16]


  1. ^ Orla-Jensen S. (1909). "Die Hauptlinien des natürlichen Bakteriensystems" [The main lineages of natural bacterial systems]. Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infektionskrankheiten und Hygiene, Abteilung II [Central Journal for Bacteriology, Parasite Science, Infectious Diseases and Hygiene, Section II]. 22: 305–346.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Parte, A.C. "Propionibacterium". LPSN.
  3. ^ "Propionibacterium". National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
  4. ^ Cheung, Y.F., Fung, C., and Walsh, C. "Stereochemistry of propionyl-coenzyme A and pyruvate carboxylations catalyzed by transcarboxylase." 1975. Biochemistry 14(13), pg 2981.
  5. ^ Bojar, R., and Holland, K. "Acne and propionibacterium acnes." 2004. Clinics in Dermatology 22(5), pg. 375-379.
  6. ^ Rust, Susanne (4 February 2012). "UC Berkeley Bacteria Study: Research Shows Humans A Major Source Of Germs". Huffington Post. San Francisco. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  7. ^ Kiatpapan P., Murooka Y. Genetic manipulation system in propionibacteria. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering. 93 (1) (pp 1-8), 2002
  8. ^ Making Swiss Cheese - David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D.
  9. ^ Zeller, Valérie A.; Letembet, Valérie-Anne; Meyssonnier, Vanina A.; Heym, Beate; Ziza, Jean-Marc; Marmor, Simon D. (2018-02-12). "Cutibacterium (Formerly Propionibacterium) avidum: A Rare but Avid Agent of Prosthetic Hip Infection". The Journal of Arthroplasty. 33 (7): 2246–2250. doi:10.1016/j.arth.2018.02.008. ISSN 1532-8406. PMID 29544969. S2CID 3916758.
  10. ^ a b c Bhatia, Ajay; Maisonneuve, Jean-Francoise; Persing, David H. (2004). PROPIONIBACTERIUM ACNES AND CHRONIC DISEASES. National Academies Press (US).
  11. ^ "Acne Vulgaris: Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology". 2017-12-15. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ ACNE and ROSACEA | G. Plewig | Springer.
  13. ^ Noble, W. C. (February 1984). "Skin microbiology: coming of age". Journal of Medical Microbiology. 17 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1099/00222615-17-1-1. ISSN 0022-2615. PMID 6229637.
  14. ^ Vowels, B R; Yang, S; Leyden, J J (August 1995). "Induction of proinflammatory cytokines by a soluble factor of Propionibacterium acnes: implications for chronic inflammatory acne". Infection and Immunity. 63 (8): 3158–3165. doi:10.1128/IAI.63.8.3158-3165.1995. ISSN 0019-9567. PMC 173431. PMID 7542639.
  15. ^ Majeski, J. A.; Stinnett, J. D. (March 1977). "Chemoattractant properties of Corynebacterium parvum and pyran copolymer for human monocytes and neutrophils". Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 58 (3): 781–783. doi:10.1093/jnci/58.3.781. ISSN 0027-8874. PMID 839571.
  16. ^ Webster, G F; Leyden, J J; Norman, M E; Nilsson, U R (November 1978). "Complement activation in acne vulgaris: in vitro studies with Propionibacterium acnes and Propionibacterium granulosum". Infection and Immunity. 22 (2): 523–529. doi:10.1128/IAI.22.2.523-529.1978. ISSN 0019-9567. PMC 422187. PMID 153333.