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Definition of Propionibacterium acnes

Propionibacterium acnes: A ubiquitous skin-dwelling organism that is involved in causing acne.

The complete genome of this bacterium was sequenced and analyzed in 2004, providing insights into the bacterial antigens and tissue-damaging enzymes that may cause the inflammatory reactions underlying acne. The genome sequence also clearly revealed many proteins involved in the ability of P. acnes to colonize and reside in skin sites as well as its pronounced potential to survive in a spectrum of environments. This capacity helps to explain the ubiquity of P. acnes and also its potential hazards, for example, in contaminating units of blood in blood banks.

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