Due to the late onset of symptoms and biofilm resistance to antibiotics, there is currently no satisfactory treatment for patients with P. acnes implant-associated infections.
P. acnes is involved in at least 2% to 14% of cases of implant-associated infections. The role of P. acnes in implant-associated infections is underestimated because of difficulty to detect P. acnes due to its slow growth, demanding specific in vitro growth conditions and due to late (often months to years) manifestation of clinical symptoms of low-grade infections.
A vaccine against P. acnes would prevent implant-associated infections caused by P. acnes and would thereby remove a substantial medical burden to patients and financial burden to health care providers. A prophylactic vaccine with an optimal safety profile could be administered to implant recipients several weeks before the scheduled implant surgery in order to establish a sufficient immune response to fight potential implant infections induced by P. acnes.