Table of Contents
International Journal of Bacteriology
Volume 2015, Article ID 218918, 6 pages
Research Article

Hyaluronidase in Clinical Isolates of Propionibacterium acnes

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
2Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 17 September 2014; Revised 14 January 2015; Accepted 2 February 2015

Academic Editor: James Dooley

Copyright © 2015 Harmony Tyner and Robin Patel. 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.


Objectives. We sought to describe the prevalence of a hyaluronidase gene and hyaluronidase production in 197 clinical isolates of P. acnes; we assessed kinetics of hyaluronidase production in a subset of three isolates. Methods. The hyaluronidase gene was detected using polymerase chain reaction. Hyaluronidase production was detected by growing isolates on BHI agar containing 400 μg/mL hyaluronic acid and 1% albumin and flooding plates with 2 N glacial acetic acid to precipitate unbound hyaluronic acid, with a zone of clearing representing a positive phenotype. Hyaluronidase production kinetics were measured as a function of hyaluronic acid digestion over time in a liquid medium. Results. A hyaluronidase gene and hyaluronidase production were detected in 100 and 97% of P. acnes isolates, respectively. Hyaluronidase production in liquid medium was detectable after 96 hours of growth. Conclusions. Hyaluronidase production is nearly universal among P. acnes isolates. Three days appear to be required for significant hyaluronidase production in a liquid medium. Detection of hyaluronidase in tissue specimens may be a strategy to differentiate P. acnes infection from colonization when P. acnes is isolated from a clinical specimen.