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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 705741, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/705741
Review Article

Bacteriophages Infecting Propionibacterium acnes

1Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA

Received 3 January 2013; Revised 12 March 2013; Accepted 21 March 2013

Academic Editor: Andrew McDowell

Copyright © 2013 Holger Brüggemann and Rolf Lood. 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

Viruses specifically infecting bacteria, or bacteriophages, are the most common biological entity in the biosphere. As such, they greatly influence bacteria, both in terms of enhancing their virulence and in terms of killing them. Since the first identification of bacteriophages in the beginning of the 20th century, researchers have been fascinated by these microorganisms and their ability to eradicate bacteria. In this review, we will cover the history of the Propionibacterium acnes bacteriophage research and point out how bacteriophage research has been an important part of the research on P. acnes itself. We will further discuss recent findings from phage genome sequencing and the identification of phage sequence signatures in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs). Finally, the potential to use P. acnes bacteriophages as a therapeutic strategy to combat P. acnes-associated diseases will be discussed.