The Propionibacterium species are pleomorphic gram-positive bacilli that may appear oval, rod-shaped or club-shaped. Some may appear branching or forked also. This is a group of aerotolerant anaerobic bacteria that can grow and multiply in the presence of atmospheric oxygen. These anaerobic bacteria are normally found on the skin and have been associated with an inflammatory process in acne (Propionibacterium acnes). They can also cause endocarditis and bacteremia but are usually considered a contaminant and a non-pathogen.

P. acnes is commonly isolated from inflammatory acne on skin3, but it has also been found in cases of late-stage prosthetic joint infections, endocarditis, endophthalmitis, osteomyelitis, and shunt-associated central nervous system infections. It can also form biofilms and is often isolated from specimens obtained from patients with biofilm infections of medical implants.


Painful infections of the muscles after rotator cuff surgery
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Fever and Chills
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Severe joint pain
Gum disease
Gum disease

References : 

1. Bansal MB, Chuah SK, Thadepalli H. Susceptibility of intestinal anaerobes to new beta-lactam antibiotics. Chemotherapy 1984;30:237-243. [PubMed]

2. Beylot C, Auffret N, Poli F, Claudel JP, Leccia MT, Del Giudice P, Dreno B. Propionibacterium acnes: an update on its role in the pathogenesis of acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014 ;28:271-8.[PubMed]

3. Brook I, Frazier EH. Infections caused by Propionibacterium species. Rev Infect Dis 1991;13:819-822. [PubMed]

4. Brook I, Petit TH, Martin WJ, Finegold SM.  Aerobic and anaerobic bacteriology of acute conjunctivitis. Ann Ophthalmol 1978;11:13-16. [PubMed]

5. Brook I. Infection caused by Propionibacterium in children. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 1994;33:485-490. [PubMed]

6.  Brook I. Microbiological studies of the bacterial flora of the external auditory canal in children. Acta Otolaryngol (Stockh) 1981;91:284-287. [PubMed]

7. Brook I. Pathogenicity of Propionibacterium acnes in mixed infections with facultative bacteria. J Med Microbiol 1991;34:249-252. [PubMed]

8. Brook, I.:Anaerobic Infections Diagnosis and Management.  A Textbook.  Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. New York. 2007.

9. Brook I. Recovery of anaerobic bacteria from clinical specimens in 12 years at two military hospitals. J Clin Microbiol 1988;26:1181-1188. [PubMed]

10. Burkhart CG, Burkhart CN, Lehmann PF. Acne: a review of immunologic and microbiologic factors. Postgrad Med J. 1999 ;75(884):328-31. [PubMed]