It is good news for acne patients all the way- An acne vaccine is on the horizon. The researchers have demonstrated for the first time that antibodies to a toxin secreted by bacteria in acne vulgaris or pimples can reduce inflammation in human acne lesions. According to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, important steps have been taken towards the development of an acne vaccine.
Acne or commonly known as pimples is not a life-threatening disease but its psychological impact is high and it impairs the self-esteem of affected individuals, especially adolescents. Current medications to treat it are often insufficient and can cause difficult-to-tolerate side effects ranging from skin dryness and irritation to depression, suicidal thoughts, and increased rates of birth defects. A vaccine could overcome potential adverse effects of topical or systemic retinoids and antibiotics which are the current treatment options.
“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,” explained lead investigator Chun-Ming Huang, Ph.D., Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego. La Jolla, CA, USA, and Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan. “Current treatment options are often not effective or tolerable for many of the 85 per cent 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.”
This vaccine against pimples would be the first to target bacteria already in human skin, instead of invading pathogens. After first demonstrating that Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor, a toxin secreted from the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, can induce inflammatory responses, the investigators explored in mice and ex vivo in human skin cells whether they could inhibit inflammation by employing antibodies to neutralize this virulence factor. The findings show that the application of monoclonal antibodies to CAMP 2 factor decreased the inflammatory response. The findings support the P. acnes CAMP factor as a promising target for acne immunotherapy. It is an important observation since CAMP factor had not been previously implicated in the pathogenesis of the disease.
“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. Whether or not CAMP factor-targeted vaccines will impact multiple P. acnes subtypes and other commensals have to be determined, but acne immunotherapy presents an interesting avenue to explore nonetheless,” wrote Emmanuel Contassot, Ph.D., Dermatology Department, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
For reference log on to 10.1016/j.jid.2018.05.032