1 Rygcenter Syddanmark, Institute of Regional Health Research, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 Center Lillebaelt, Institute of Regional Health Research, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 The School of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Coventry University, CV1 5FB, UK.4 unknown5 Rygcenter Syddanmark, Institute of Regional Health Research, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
The anaerobic skin commensal Propionibacterium acnes is an underestimated cause of human infections and clinical conditions. Previous studies have suggested a role for the bacterium in lumbar disc herniation and infection. To further investigate this, five biopsy samples were surgically excised from each of 64 patients with lumbar disc herniation. P. acnes and other bacteria were detected by anaerobic culture, followed by biochemical and PCR-based identification. In total, 24/64 (38%) patients had evidence of P. acnes in their excised herniated disc tissue. Using recA and mAb typing methods, 52% of the isolates were type II (50% of culture-positive patients), while type IA strains accounted for 28% of isolates (42% patients). Type III (11% isolates; 21% patients) and type IB strains (9% isolates; 17% patients) were detected less frequently. The MIC values for all isolates were lowest for amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, rifampicin, tetracycline, and vancomycin (≤1 mg/L). The MIC for fusidic acid was 1-2 mg/L. The MIC for trimethoprim and gentamicin was 2 to ≥4 mg/L. The demonstration that type II and III strains, which are not frequently recovered from skin, predominated within our isolate collection (63%) suggests that the role of P. acnes in lumbar disc herniation should not be readily dismissed.