Bactericidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide on Cutibacterium acnes

P. Hernandez, B. Sager, A. Fa, T. Liang, C. Lozano, M. Khazzam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the bactericidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide (H 2 o 2 ) on Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes). We hypothesize that H 2 o 2 reduces the bacterial burden of C. acnes. Methods The effect of H 2 o 2 was assessed by testing bactericidal effect, time course analysis, growth inhibition, and minimum bactericidal concentration. To assess the bactericidal effect, bacteria were treated for 30 minutes with 0%, 1%, 3%, 4%, 6%, 8%, or 10% H 2 o 2 in saline or water and compared with 3% topical H 2 o 2 solution. For time course analysis, bacteria were treated with water or saline (controls), 3% H 2 o 2 in water, 3% H 2 o 2 in saline, or 3% topical solution for 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 minutes. Results were analyzed with a two-way analysis of variance (AnoVA) (p < 0.05). Results Minimum inhibitory concentration of H 2 o 2 after 30 minutes is 1% for H 2 o 2 prepared in saline and water. The 3% topical solution was as effective when compared with the 1% H 2 o 2 prepared in saline or water. The controls of both saline and water showed no reduction of bacteria. After five minutes of exposure, all mixtures of H 2 o 2 reduced the percentage of live bacteria, with the topical solution being most effective (p < 0.0001). Maximum growth inhibition was achieved with topical 3% H 2 o 2 . Conclusion The inexpensive and commercially available topical solution of 3% H 2 o 2 demonstrated superior bactericidal effect as observed in the minimum bactericidal inhibitory concentration, time course, and colony-forming unit (cFU) inhibition assays. These results support the use of topical 3% H 2 o 2 for five minutes before surgical skin preparation prior to shoulder surgery to achieve eradication of C. acnes for the skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalBone and Joint Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cutibacterium acnes
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Infection
  • Shoulder
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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