A team of researchers has conducted experiments for an acne vaccine on mice with positive findings. They have published their findings in an international journal
Acne is one of the most common skin condition in the world and it's so widespread that you might have met at least a few with the same problem. Acne is also known to be a reason for major social anxiety, loss in self-esteem and even depression among people since it leads to scarring of the skin especially if it's on the face. Some of the common treatments suggested for this skin disease might be dietary changes and regular exercises, to name a few. The reasons for acne may also be genetics. However, although it may be a common skin disease, there is however no permanent or assured cure for the same. This may all change as now a group of researchers are testing a vaccine for acne according to a report in iflscience.com. The international team of skin researchers is striving to get close to achieving what may be only called the holy grail of dermatology. Imagine what the potential of such a vaccine would be like? There would be a complete transformation in not only the lives of many people, but entire industries are set to be changed starting from pharmaceutics to the beauty industry. There might even come a time when acne would be just a disease of a past generation. With increasing advances in the field of medicines and vaccines all these may not be just a thought anymore but a reality in the near future.
The team of researchers has so far conducted a series of experiments on mice and isolated human tissue. Through these tests, they have shown that the use of lab-created antibodies to target a toxin produced by the P. acnes bacteria can prevent the inflammatory response that leads to the development of lesions. So far acne is either treated with long-term regimens of topical medications however these do not guarantee a permanent cure but merely a reduction in the acne. There are also oral medications that are used.
Many a times, these medications may be ineffective and instead lead to some intense side effects since. Chun-Ming Huang, lead investigator of the team said in a statement, "Once validated by a large-scale clinical trial, the potential impact of our findings is huge for the hundreds of millions of individuals suffering from acne vulgaris. Current treatment options are often not effective or tolerable for many of the 85 percent of adolescents and more than 40 million adults in the United States who suffer from this multi-factorial cutaneous inflammatory condition. New, safe, and efficient therapies are sorely needed."
A toxic protein secreted by P. acnes, called CAMP factor, leads to inflammation that results in common conditions such as papules, pimples, nodules, and cysts. The group had also conducted previous researches to show this. In addition to this, the team's past studies and tests on mice also highlighted how vaccines that overexpresses CAMP factor could protect against the development and growth of of acne.
The team's findings have been published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Huang and his team wanted to confirm that CAMP factor is the main driving force of inflammatory acne in humans. They also wanted to find out whether a vaccine approach might hold more promise rather than other methods presently being deployed. The results of the team's experiments have been promising.
The team's experiment in mice have indicated that a version of the toxin that appears to occur in five strains of the human P. acnes greatly reduced the growth of the bacteria on the animals’ skin. It also lowered the expression of an inflammatory signaling molecule after antibodies of CAMP factor 2 were tested on them. Also, acne lesions taken from human patients that were treated with the antibodies showed significant reductions.
According to the authors of he study, this finding supports the theory that “P. acnes CAMP factor is an essential source of inflammation in acne vulgaris.” Now that a suitable antigen has been identified, the team hope to create a formulation that is safe for use in humans. If successful, they predict that a vaccine or other type of inhibitory drug could also be used for other P. acnes-associated diseases, including ailments such as sepsis, prostate cancers, heart infections, toxic shock syndrome, bone infections, and various post-surgery infections.
However, one concern that will need to be investigated, however, is whether CAMP factor 2 antibodies will react with other compounds and/or bacteria found in the skin, including those that are beneficial. "While addressing an unmet medical need and providing an appealing approach, acne immunotherapies that target P. acnes-derived factors have to be cautiously designed to avoid unwanted disturbance of the microbiome that guarantees skin homeostasis. But acne immunotherapy presents an interesting avenue to explore nonetheless," said ," dermatologist Emmanuel Contassot wrote in a commentary about the findings.