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Researchers from Ulster University to fight antibiotic resistance for acne treatment

Apr 07, 2017

Researchers from Ulster University to fight antibiotic resistance for acne treatment

Research Scientists at Ulster University are leading a three year primary research programme which focuses of finding novel ways to treat the most common skin condition, i.e., antibiotic resistant acne.

Acne vulgaris is a chronic persisting inflammatory skin condition. It is the eighth most widely occurring disease across the globe, as characterized by the Global Burden of Disease. This condition is known to have deep social and psychological effects especially when the symptoms are extreme and scarring takes place.

The prevalent use of antibiotics agents over a prolonged period of time to focus on a skin bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes, which is thought to assume a focal part in the expansion of the condition, has prompted the advancement of acne super-bug strains that are impervious to first line antibiotics. Thus, patients suffering from extreme forms of this condition that are difficult to treat owing to multi-drug resistant strains of the bacterium are now being considered for specialized treatment.

T5he egression of this type of super-acne is raising a concerning alarm amongst dermatologists, with the worry that in days to come, it will become exceptionally complex to treat and manage patients with this common widespread condition.

The three year study by the researchers in Ulster University is being funded by the British Skin Foundation for £85,000. The research looks for patients who are at a higher risk of not responding to the first-line of treatments and instead developing aggressive forms of acne. The study also seeks to indentifying patients who develop new non-antibiotic-based treatments for the condition.

Dr Andrew McDowell, the project lead from the Ulster University says, “For patients with acne, the long term use of antibiotics to treat their condition often leads to the emergence of Propionibacterium acnes strains on their skin that are highly resistant to therapy and therefore extremely difficult to eradicate.”

He further says that till date, facts and information of the multi-antibiotic resistant strains of Propionibacterium linked with the most severe form of acne is poor, however this study project at Ulster University will struggle hard to alter that.

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