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October 1964

Study of Antibody Levels to Corynebacterium Acnes: In the Serum of Patients With Acne Vulgaris, Using Bacterial Agglutination, Agar Gel Immunodiffusion, and Immunofluorescence Techniques

Author Affiliations


Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California.

Arch Dermatol. 1964;90(4):421-427. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01600040049011

Sera from 22 patients with varying degrees of acne vulgaris were tested for antibody levels to Corynebacterium acnes using bacterial agglutination, agar gel immunodiffusion, and immunofluorescence techniques. The results indicated that patients with pustular and cystic acne had significantly higher levels of antibody to C acnes than did patients with mild comedopapular acne and persons with healthy skin. Sera from 18 patients with skin diseases other than acne were also tested, and in this group the antibody levels to C acnes were in the same range as those found in persons with healthy skin. The fact that antibody levels to C acnes are higher in persons with severe acne, may indicate that C acnes is etiologically involved in acne vulgaris. On the other hand, the rise of antibody levels to C acnes may be the result of nonspecific involvement of the organism in the acne lesion. Further investigations are presently being carried out to elucidate these possibilities.