The other day I read an interesting tidbit about acne bacteria found in grapevines. Propionibacterium acnes–an anaerobic gram-positive bacilli that lives on human skin and occasionally causes acne–was found in the bark and pith of grapevines in Italy. The researchers could have assumed the bacteria was a contaminant, but they didn’t. Inspired by Frank Zappa’s propensity for thinking outside the box, they delved a little deeper and realized this strain has been living on grapevines for thousands of years.
The best part? They named it Propionibacterium acnes type Zappae.
–Kelly Swails, MT(ASCP), is a laboratory professional, recovering microbiologist, and web editor for Lab Medicine.