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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 530382, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/530382
Research Article

Genotypic and Antimicrobial Characterisation of Propionibacterium acnes Isolates from Surgically Excised Lumbar Disc Herniations

1The School of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Coventry University, CV1 5FB, UK
2Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
3Research Department, Spine Centre of Southern Denmark, Hospital Lillebaelt, Middelfart, Institute of Regional Health Services Research, University of Southern Denmark, 5230, Denmark
4The School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
5University Hospital NHS Trust, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK

Received 10 February 2013; Revised 21 May 2013; Accepted 1 June 2013

Academic Editor: Yoshinobu Eishi

Copyright © 2013 Jess Rollason et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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 (≤1mg/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.