The in vitro antimicrobial effect of azelaic acid

Br J Dermatol. 1986 Nov;115(5):551-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.1986.tb05764.x.


Various strains of cutaneous micro-organisms were tested in vitro for their survival rates in 0.5 mol/l (8.4% w/v) azelaic acid solution. All bacterial strains exhibited large reductions in viability (at least 40-fold) over a 24 h test period, but little response was noted with Pityrosporum ovale. The bactericidal effect of azelaic acid was reduced considerably in the presence of nutrients. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal (or fungicidal) concentrations (MBCs) were also determined. MICs varied from 0.03 mol/l to 0.25 mol/l; MBCs were all either 0.25 mol/l or greater.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / microbiology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Culture Media
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Malassezia / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Propionibacterium acnes / drug effects
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / drug effects


  • Culture Media
  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • azelaic acid