Comparison of the skin microbiota in acne and rosacea

Exp Dermatol. 2021 Oct;30(10):1375-1380. doi: 10.1111/exd.14098. Epub 2020 May 3.


Acne and rosacea, despite their similar clinical presentations, follow distinct clinical courses, suggesting that fundamental differences exist in their pathophysiology. We performed a case-control study profiling the skin microbiota in rosacea and acne patients compared to matched controls. Nineteen rosacea and eight acne patients were matched to controls by age ± 5 years, sex and race. DNA was extracted from facial skin swabs. The V3V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was sequenced using Illumina MiSeq and analysed using QIIME/Metastats 2.0 software. The mean relative abundance of Cutibacterium acnes in rosacea with inflammatory papules and pustules (20.454% ±16.943%) was more similar to that of acne (19.055% ±15.469%) than that of rosacea without inflammatory papules and pustules (30.419% ±21.862%). C acnes (P = .048) and Serratia marcescens (P = .038) were significantly enriched in individuals with rosacea compared to acne. Investigating the differences between the skin microbiota in acne and rosacea can provide important clues towards understanding the disease progression in each condition.

Keywords: Cutibacterium acnes; acne; rosacea; skin microbiome; skin microbiota.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / microbiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbiota*
  • Middle Aged
  • Rosacea / microbiology*
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Young Adult