Is Propionibacterium acnes a probable causative infectous agent in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis?

HIROHISA ICHIKAWA, Yoshihiro Mori, Mikio Kataoka, Yasunari Nakata


More than 120 years have passed since sarcoidosis was recognized for the first time, the exact cause of this systemic granulomatous disease is still unknown. Sarcoidosis is generally considered to be caused by exposure to specific environmental substances to genetically susceptible hosts. Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) has been regarded as one of the most probable causative agents of sarcoidosis, since this ubiquitous bacteria is isolated in culture from biopsy samples of lymph nodes from patients with sarcoidosis. Evidences suggesting that P. acnes is involved in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis are accumulating. These days, intracellular persistence of P. acnes is thought to be implicated in not only sarcoidosis but also diseases of the prostate gland and possibly Parkinson’s disease. The importance of P. acnes as a pathogenic substance is increasing. In this review we would like to summarize researches about P. acnes and sarcoidosis.


sarcoidosis, Propionibacterium acnes(P. acnes), pathogenesis

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