Acne sufferers, take heart. Scientists from the University of California, San Diego are now in the process of developing what could – eventually – be a vaccine for the skin disease. Not only may it drastically reduce inflammation, but it's also unlikely to have the side effects of currently-used medications.

Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, which causes acne, secretes a toxin known as Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor.

A UC San Diego team led by Dr. Chun-Ming Huang started out by demonstrating that this toxin can induce inflammatory responses in the skin. Through subsequent experimentation with mice and extracted human skin cells, the researchers discovered that these responses could be significantly decreased by applying specific monoclonal antibodies to the CAMP factor.

The scientists are now researching whether or not a vaccine incorporating these antibodies could negatively affect the microbiome (a community of microorganisms) that maintains skin health.

"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," says Huang. "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 paper on the research was recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Source: Elsevier via EurekAlert