Bactericidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide on Cutibacterium acnes

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

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3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the bactericidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide (H2o2) on Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes). We hypothesize that H2o2 reduces the bacterial burden of C. acnes. Methods The effect of H2o2 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% H2o2 in saline or water and compared with 3% topical H2o2 solution. For time course analysis, bacteria were treated with water or saline (controls), 3% H2o2 in water, 3% H2o2 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 H2o2 after 30 minutes is 1% for H2o2 prepared in saline and water. The 3% topical solution was as effective when compared with the 1% H2o2 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 H2o2 reduced the percentage of live bacteria, with the topical solution being most effective (p < 0.0001). Maximum growth inhibition was achieved with topical 3% H2o2. Conclusion The inexpensive and commercially available topical solution of 3% H2o2 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% H2o2 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 1 2019



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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