Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs: A microbiological study

Manu N Capoor, Filip Ruzicka, Gurpreet Sandhu, Jess Rollason, Konstantinos Mavrommatis, Fahad S Ahmed, Jonathan E Schmitz, Assaf Raz, Holger Brüggemann, Peter A Lambert, Vincent A Fischetti, Ondrej Slaby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Most patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) exhibit degenerative disc disease. Disc specimens obtained during initial therapeutic discectomies are often infected/colonized with Propionibacterium acnes, a Gram-positive commensal of the human skin. Although pain associated with infection is typically ascribed to the body's inflammatory response, the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus was recently observed to directly activate nociceptors by secreting pore-forming α-hemolysins that disrupt neuronal cell membranes. The hemolytic activity of P. acnes in cultured disc specimens obtained during routine therapeutic discectomies was assessed through incubation on sheep-blood agar. The β-hemolysis pattern displayed by P. acnes on sheep-blood agar was variable and phylogroup-dependent. Their molecular phylogroups were correlated with their hemolytic patterns. Our findings raise the possibility that pore-forming proteins contribute to the pathogenesis and/or symptomology of chronic P. acnes disc infections and CLBP, at least in a subset of cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208144
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018

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Propionibacterium acnes
intervertebral disks
Intervertebral Disc
Human Activities
Agar
Blood
pain
Diskectomy
Hemolysin Proteins
back (body region)
Cell membranes
Low Back Pain
Sheep
Bacteria
Skin
agar
sheep
Porins
therapeutics
Nociceptors

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Capoor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Cite this

Capoor, M. N., Ruzicka, F., Sandhu, G., Rollason, J., Mavrommatis, K., Ahmed, F. S., ... Slaby, O. (2018). Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs: A microbiological study. PLoS ONE, 13(11), [e0208144]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208144
Capoor, Manu N ; Ruzicka, Filip ; Sandhu, Gurpreet ; Rollason, Jess ; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos ; Ahmed, Fahad S ; Schmitz, Jonathan E ; Raz, Assaf ; Brüggemann, Holger ; Lambert, Peter A ; Fischetti, Vincent A ; Slaby, Ondrej. / Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs : A microbiological study. In: PLoS ONE. 2018 ; Vol. 13, No. 11.
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Capoor, MN, Ruzicka, F, Sandhu, G, Rollason, J, Mavrommatis, K, Ahmed, FS, Schmitz, JE, Raz, A, Brüggemann, H, Lambert, PA, Fischetti, VA & Slaby, O 2018, 'Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs: A microbiological study', PLoS ONE, vol. 13, no. 11, e0208144. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208144

Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs : A microbiological study. / Capoor, Manu N; Ruzicka, Filip; Sandhu, Gurpreet; Rollason, Jess; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos; Ahmed, Fahad S; Schmitz, Jonathan E; Raz, Assaf; Brüggemann, Holger; Lambert, Peter A; Fischetti, Vincent A; Slaby, Ondrej.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 13, No. 11, e0208144, 29.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Ruzicka, Filip

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AU - Rollason, Jess

AU - Mavrommatis, Konstantinos

AU - Ahmed, Fahad S

AU - Schmitz, Jonathan E

AU - Raz, Assaf

AU - Brüggemann, Holger

AU - Lambert, Peter A

AU - Fischetti, Vincent A

AU - Slaby, Ondrej

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PY - 2018/11/29

Y1 - 2018/11/29

N2 - Most patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) exhibit degenerative disc disease. Disc specimens obtained during initial therapeutic discectomies are often infected/colonized with Propionibacterium acnes, a Gram-positive commensal of the human skin. Although pain associated with infection is typically ascribed to the body's inflammatory response, the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus was recently observed to directly activate nociceptors by secreting pore-forming α-hemolysins that disrupt neuronal cell membranes. The hemolytic activity of P. acnes in cultured disc specimens obtained during routine therapeutic discectomies was assessed through incubation on sheep-blood agar. The β-hemolysis pattern displayed by P. acnes on sheep-blood agar was variable and phylogroup-dependent. Their molecular phylogroups were correlated with their hemolytic patterns. Our findings raise the possibility that pore-forming proteins contribute to the pathogenesis and/or symptomology of chronic P. acnes disc infections and CLBP, at least in a subset of cases.

AB - Most patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) exhibit degenerative disc disease. Disc specimens obtained during initial therapeutic discectomies are often infected/colonized with Propionibacterium acnes, a Gram-positive commensal of the human skin. Although pain associated with infection is typically ascribed to the body's inflammatory response, the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus was recently observed to directly activate nociceptors by secreting pore-forming α-hemolysins that disrupt neuronal cell membranes. The hemolytic activity of P. acnes in cultured disc specimens obtained during routine therapeutic discectomies was assessed through incubation on sheep-blood agar. The β-hemolysis pattern displayed by P. acnes on sheep-blood agar was variable and phylogroup-dependent. Their molecular phylogroups were correlated with their hemolytic patterns. Our findings raise the possibility that pore-forming proteins contribute to the pathogenesis and/or symptomology of chronic P. acnes disc infections and CLBP, at least in a subset of cases.

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VL - 13

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JF - PLoS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

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Capoor MN, Ruzicka F, Sandhu G, Rollason J, Mavrommatis K, Ahmed FS et al. Importance of Propionibacterium acnes hemolytic activity in human intervertebral discs: A microbiological study. PLoS ONE. 2018 Nov 29;13(11). e0208144. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208144