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A Myrtus communis extract enriched in myrtucummulones and ursolic acid reduces resistance of Propionibacterium acnes biofilms to antibiotics used in acne vulgaris

Author(s): Feuillolay C, Pecastaings S, Le gac C, Fiorini-Puybaret C, Luc J, et al.



Recent works present evidence of Propionibacterium acnes growing as a biofilm in cutaneous follicles. This formation of clusters is now considered as an explanation for the in vivo resistance of P. acnes to the main antimicrobials prescribed in acne vulgaris.


Our objective was to explore this hypothesis and propose a new therapeutic approach focusing on anti-biofilm activity of Myrtacine® New Generation (Mediterranean Myrtle extract–Botanical Expertise P. Fabre) alone or combined with antibiotics.


Using in vitro models able to promote the growth of adhered bacteria, the loss of sensitivity of P. acnes biofilms (48 h) towards erythromycin and clindamycin was checked considering either sensitive or resistant strains. In the same time, the activity of Myrtacine® New Generation against biofilm formation and mature biofilm (48 h) was evaluated. Using a dynamic model of biofilm formation, we noted an inhibition of biofilm formation (addition of Myrtacine® New Generation at T 0) and a significant effect on mature biofilm (48 h) for 5 min of contact. This effect was also checked using the static model of biofilm formation for Myrtacine® New Generation concentrations ranging from 0.03% to 0.0001%. A significant, dose-dependent anti-biofilm effect was observed and notable even at a concentration lower than the active concentration on planktonic cells, i.e. 0.001%. Finally, the interest of the combination of Myrtacine® New Generation with antibiotics was explored. An enhanced efficacy was noted when erythromycin (1000 mg/l) or clindamycin (500 mg/l) was added to 0.001% Myrtacine®, leading to significant differences in comparison to each compound used alone.


The efficiency of Myrtacine® New Generation on P. acnes biofilm alone or combined with antibiotics was demonstrated and can lead to consider it as a potent adjunctive product efficient during the antibiotic course for acne vulgaris treatment.

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