According to a new study from Lund University in Sweden, a bacterium that is responsible for our acne is also a natural protection against other different skin diseases. The researchers have discovered that some of the most common skin bacteria give off a type of protein that helps against reactive oxygen types which could cause skin diseases. The study headed by the senior author Dr. Rolf Lood, from Lund's Department of Clinical Sciences, is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The Common Skin Bacteria
The bacterium analyzed in the study is named as Propionibacterium acnes. "The name originates from the fact that the bacterium was first discovered on a patient with severe acne. But whether it causes acne is uncertai, it may have been present merely because it is so common," said Lood. It is the relatively slow-growing, Gram-positive bacterium linked to the skin condition of acne, it can also cause chronic blepharitis and endophthalmitis, the latter particularly following intraocular surgery.
The genome of the bacterium has been sequenced and a study has shown several genes can generate enzymes for degrading skin and proteins that may be immunogenic. According to Medical News Today, Propionibacterium acnes is one of many species of microorganisms, or microbiota, living in association with the human body, collectively known as the human microbiome. The bacterial cells in these communities outnumber the human cells of the body by more than 10 to one.
Bacteria That Could Save You From Other Skin Diseases
As reported by TechTimes, propionibacterium acnes secrete a protein called RoxP, which is found to be protective against oxidative stress. The condition is described through the damage that the reactive oxygen produces on the human skin. One of the most prevailing causes of these skin diseases is attributed to the UV radiation that is associated to sun exposure. "RoxP is able to both reduce free radicals and protect molecules from oxidation," the researchers explained.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first characterized bacterial extracellular enzyme with antioxidant activity." Propionibacterium acnes is the most common bacterium found on human skin. RoxP has a natural antioxidant capacity, which makes propionibacterium acnes highly important when it comes to our skin's defense mechanisms. In order for it to survive on our skin, the bacterium releases the RoxP protein, which is also associated with skin benefits in humans.
Common Skin Disease It can Prevent
Among the skin diseases that the bacteria's RoxP secretions can prevent atopic dermatitis, skin cancer and psoriasis are some of the most widely known. As the bacteria is utterly common for every human, both healthy people and patients with skin diseases have it. However, in patients with skin diseases, the bacteria will be present in smaller quantities, therefore secreting less of the RoxP protein, which was proven to be associated with the very existence of the diseases.