Significance: Multispecies microbial biofilms may contribute to wound chronicity by derailing the inherent reparative process of the host tissue. In the biofilm form, bacteria are encased within an extracellular polymeric substance and become recalcitrant to antimicrobials and host defenses. For biofilms of relevance to human health, there are two primary contributing factors: the microbial species involved and host response which, in turn, shapes microbial processes over time. This progressive interaction between microbial species and the host is an iterative process that helps evolve an acute-phase infection to a pathogenic chronic biofilm. Thus, long-term wound infection studies are needed to understand the longitudinal cascade of events that culminate into a pathogenic wound biofilm.
Recent Advances: Our laboratory has recently published the first long-term (2 month) study of polymicrobial wound biofilm infection in a translationally valuable porcine wound model.
Critical Issues: It is widely recognized that the porcine system represents the most translationally valuable approach to experimentally model human skin wounds. A meaningful experimental biofilm model must be in vivo, include mixed species of clinically relevant microbes, and be studied longitudinally long term. Cross-validation of such experimental findings with findings from biofilm-infected patient wounds is critically important.
Future Directions: Additional value may be added to the experimental system described above by studying pigs with underlying health complications (e.g., metabolic syndrome), as is typically seen in patient populations. Full Article >>