Antimicrobial activity of enterocins from Enterococcus faecalis SL-5 against Propionibacterium acnes, the causative agent in acne vulgaris, and its therapeutic effect

J Microbiol. 2009 Feb;47(1):101-9. doi: 10.1007/s12275-008-0179-y. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


A lactic acid bacterial strain was isolated from human fecal specimen and identified as Enterococcus faecalis SL-5. The isolated strain showed antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive pathogens assayed, especially the highest activity against Propionibacterium acnes. The antimicrobial substance was purified and verified as a bacteriocin (named ESL5) of E. faecalis SL-5 by activity-staining using P. acnes as an indicator. N-terminal sequence of ESL5 was determined (MGAIAKLVAK) and sequence analysis revealed that it is almost identical to the some of enterocins including L50A/B of E. faecium L50 and MR10A/B of E. faecalis MRR 10-3. From the sequencing data of L50A/B structural genes, the nucleotide sequence showed 100% identity with that of the MR10A/B structural genes, implying that ESL5 is an equivalent of enterocin MR10. Meanwhile, we also tested the therapeutic effect of anti-P. acnes activity in patients with mild to moderate acne because of its pathogenic role to acne vulgaris. For this purpose, a concentrated powder of CBT SL-5 was prepared using cell-free culture supernatant (CFCS) of E. faecalis SL-5 and included in a lotion for application in the patients. The study showed that CBT SL-5 lotion significantly reduced the inflammatory lesions like pustules compared to the placebo lotion. Therefore our results indicate that the anti-P. acnes activity produced by E. faecalis SL-5 has potential role to the treatment of acne as an alternative to topical antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Bacteriocins / administration & dosage*
  • Bacteriocins / biosynthesis*
  • Bacteriocins / isolation & purification
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enterococcus faecalis / genetics
  • Enterococcus faecalis / isolation & purification
  • Enterococcus faecalis / metabolism*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Propionibacterium acnes / drug effects*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacteriocins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • ESL5 protein, Enterococcus faecalis

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY692453