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Classic diseases revisited
Acne: a review of immunologic and microbiologic factors
  1. Craig G Burkharta,c,
  2. Craig N Burkharta,c,
  3. Paul F Lehmannb
  1. aMedical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, USA Department of Medicine, bDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, cDepartment of Biology, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA
  1. CG Burkhart, MD, MSPH, 5600 Monroe Street, Suite 106B, Sylvania, OH 43560, USA


Acne vulgaris is a self-limiting skin disorder seen primarily in adolescents, whose aetiology appears to be multifactorial. The four main aetiological factors are hypercornification of the pilosebaceous duct, increased sebum production, colonization withPropionibacterium acnes, and subsequently the production of inflammation. Considerable investigation has addressed the immunologic reaction to extracellular products produced by the acne-causing organism, P acnes. The immunologic response involves both humoral and cell-mediated pathways. Further research should clarify the role of complement, cytotoxins, and neutrophils in this acne-forming response.

  • acne vulgaris
  • Propionibacterium acnes

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