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Skin Microbiota in Acne Patients


A recent study investigated the difference between skin microbiota in patients with acne and controls without acne.

A study published in the Annals of Palliative Medicine investigated the skin microbiota in patients with acne vs healthy controls (HCs).

There has been a reported correlation between abnormal growth of lipophilic anaerobic bacteria such as Cutibacterium acnes and the development of acne, but the relationship between microorganisms and acne has not been fully investigated. 

The study included 16 patients diagnosed with acne vulgaris and 5 HCs. Investigators collected skin microbe samples from the cheeks, brow, forehead, neck, chin, or chest of the patients with sterile cotton swabs depending on the location of the acne lesions. These samples were then tested by 16s sequencing.

The patients with acne showed the following diversity of skin microbiota. These are the top 5 microbiota found in acne patients vs HCs:

  • OTU535601 (Lachnospiraceae)
  • OTU4460604 (Clostridiales)
  • OTU3217705 (Moraxellaceae)
  • OTU1066814 (Prevotella)
  • OTU455671 (Lactococcus garvieae)

In comparison, these are the top 5 microbiota found in HCs not found in patients diagnosed with acne:

  • OTU423327 (Achromobacter)
  • OTU4423360 (Stenotrophomonas)
  • OTU993127 (Porphyromonas)
  • OTU677680 (Prevotella)
  • OTU269901 (Pseudomonas)

“The present study has analyzed and compared the diversity and abundance of microorganisms and the characteristics of the main pathogenic bacteria in patients with acne and HCs,” The authors wrote. “Our findings indicate the importance of maintaining the skin's commensal microflora balance with the development of acne vulgaris.”


1. Shi J, Cheng J-W, Zhang Q, Hua Z-X, Miao X. Comparison of the skin microbiota of patients with acne vulgaris and healthy controls. Ann Palliat Med. 2021;10(7):7933-7941. doi:10.21037/apm-21-1482

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