Through the Greenville Hospital System-Clemson University Biomedical Cooperative, Barefoot secured acne samples from dermatologists Eric Baker and Patricia Westmoreland. The Clemson researchers then isolated 150 acne bacteria to test the bacteriocin's effectiveness.
"The acne bacteria was controlled in every single test," said Barefoot. "Every strain, every culture, two different testing methods -- all had the same results."
Scientific investigators do not expect 100-percent success rates, so Barefoot and her colleagues were somewhat incredulous and cautious about their findings.
"We must understand how it works and develop a method to produce enough bacteriocin for further testing," she said, adding that it is comparable to generating 55 gallons of material to collect a tiny straight pin of usable product.
The Clemson-based S.C. Agriculture and Forestry Research System and the Greenville Hospital System-Clemson University Biomedical Cooperative provide funding for the research.