Acne vulgaris is a common neutrophil-driven inflammatory skin disorder in which Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) is known to play a key role. For decades, antibiotics have been widely employed to treat acne vulgaris, inevitably resulting in increased bacterial antibiotic resistance. Phage therapy is a promising strategy to combat the growing challenge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, utilizing viruses that specifically lyse bacteria. Herein, we explore the feasibility of phage therapy against C. acnes. Eight novel phages, isolated in our laboratory, and commonly used antibiotics eradicate 100% of clinically isolated C. acnes strains. Topical phage therapy in a C. acnes-induced acne-like lesions mouse model affords significantly superior clinical and histological scores. Moreover, the decrease in inflammatory response was reflected by the reduced expression of chemokine CXCL2, neutrophil infiltration, and other inflammatory cytokines when compared with the infected-untreated group. Overall, these findings indicate the potential of phage therapy for acne vulgaris as an additional tool to conventional antibiotics.
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