Young girl stares at a pimple, zit on her forehead through a mirror
Researchers have discovered a potential new weapon against acne: a virus that can infect and kill the bacteria that cause the problem.
P. acnes resides normally on human skin, but during puberty its numbers increase, which can lead to acne.
Researchers looked at 11 viruses, called phages, and found that all of them have a gene that makes the bacteria-busting protein called endolysin.
"There are two fairly obvious potential directions that could exploit this kind of research," Graham Hatfull, one of the study's authors, said in a release. "The first is the possibility of using the phages directly as a therapy for acne. The second is the opportunity to use phage-derived components for their activities."
The research is published in the Sept. 25 issue of mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.