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Acne bacteria genome mapped

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I posted this in one of the other forums as well...the forums have changed a bit since the last time I viewed them, and I wasn't aware there was one related to research. Anyway, here's the article:

Acne Bacteria Genome Mapped

Fri Jul 30, 3:32 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - German researchers have completely sequenced the genome of the organism Propionibacterium acnes, which is implicated in acne and other diseases.

Ultimately, this knowledge will aid in the development of new treatments to specifically knock out the bacterium without the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, Dr. Holger Bruggemann told Reuters Health.

Bruggemann, currently at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and colleagues at Georg-August-University in Gottingen, identified 2333 probable genes in the bug's DNA.

Their findings help explain why the organism is so widespread and how it can cause a variety of conditions, the researchers write in their report in the journal Science.

Of note, the organism encodes the key components of multiple metabolic pathways, which allows it to grow under various conditions.

The authors also identified DNA sequences for enzymes that permit it to attach to host cells and degrade host tissue.

Severe acne is currently treated with antibiotics, which poses two problems, Dr. Bruggemann said. "You kill other beneficial bacteria, and you increase antibiotic resistance against common antibiotics," he explained.

Having the complete genetic make-up of the bug will help scientists "figure out which factors have to be inactivated so that Propionibacterium acnes' growth is diminished or the interaction with the host is blocked."

SOURCE: Science, July 30, 2004.

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