• acne vulgaris;
  • antibiotic susceptibility;
  • antibiotics;
  • minimal inhibitory concentration;
  • Propionibacterium acnes


Propionibacterium acnes plays an important role in the development of acne, and inflammatory lesions are improved by antibiotics. Long-term use of antibiotics may result in development of resistant strains and treatment failure. The aim of the present study was to investigate the isolation rate of P. acnes and to evaluate its antibiotic susceptibility to widely used antibiotics in acne in Korea. Among 46 patients, 31 P. acnes strains were cultured. Isolated P. acnes was measured for minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin and clindamycin using an Epsilometer test. Age, disease duration and previous history of antibiotic therapy for acne were compared in relation to the MIC. The mean MIC of tetracycline, minocyclines, doxycycline, clindamycin and erythromycin were all below the breakpoint of antibiotic resistance. The patients with acne vulgaris with disease duration of more than 2 years documented higher MIC values in doxycycline, erythromycin, and clindamycin than those of less than 2 years. The patients who were previously treated with topical or systemic antibiotics showed higher MIC in doxycycline. Antibiotic resistance of P. acnes is still low in Korea, but at this point, there is an increasing trend of MIC. Caution and acknowledgement of increased risk of antibiotic resistant P. acnes should be advised in acne antibiotic treatment to minimize and avoid the emergence of the resistant strain.