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Dr. Garza's Research Grant Project

Luis Garza, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology
2011 Research Grant Recipient


Research Grant Proposal

Effects of Antibiotics and Acne on the Skin Microbiome

Study sponsor: Sewon Kang, MD, FAAD

Abstract: Classic means of determining microbial flora are dependent on biased culture methods.  Recent insights into the diversity of skin flora have been made using novel techniques of microbial 16S rRNA amplification, sequencing, and unbiased speciation of resident microbes.  The aim of this study is to use this novel technique to investigate hypotheses regarding the changes in P. acnes and commensal skin flora before, during, and after antibiotic therapy for acne.  Specifically, we hypothesize that Propionibacterium acnes and commensal skin flora will decrease with antibiotic treatment.  We also hypothesize that return of baseline flora will be delayed in appearance and altered in composition after the cessation of antibiotics.  We will quantify this lag time before commensals recover, and the alterations in diversity after antibiotic use.  Based on paired clinical histories, we will search for correlations between acne status and microbiome changes.  These results will improve our understanding of acne pathogenesis and suggest optimum treatments.