Brittany Barros, MD
Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine
Department of Dermatology
2017 Research Grant Recipient
Influences of Skin Microbiome on Acne Pathogenesis Related to Pubertal Development
Mentor Amanda Nelson, Ph.D.
The skin microbiome is a diverse ecosystem with a complex relationship to the host in healthy and disease states. Published studies clearly demonstrate that the skin microbiome varies by individual, body site, age, and disease status. At present, no study has evaluated the skin microbiome throughout puberty in relation to sebum output and presence/absence of acne. Understanding the microbiome as it changes through puberty in relation to the development of acne may identify new avenues for therapeutic interventions at different time points during development. Because acne is a disease of younger persons and typically relates to hormonal surges around puberty, the shift in the microbiome, if present, may have important implications in pathogenesis and in treatment. Propionibacterium acnes has been long recognized as pivotal in acne pathogenesis, but there is no data available with regard to when the skin becomes colonized, the abundance of P. acnes during the different stages of puberty, and if this process of colonization is different from individuals that do not have acne. Using 16S sequencing, we will test the hypothesis that shifts in the skin surface microbiome and follicular microbiome composition are related stage of puberty, sebum production and influence the development of acne.