John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


The microbiome and its relevance in complex wounds Volume 29, numéro 1, January-February 2019


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University of Genoa, Dissal, Department of Dermatology, San Martino Policlinic Hospital, Genoa, Italy
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Chronic wounds include arterial, venous, diabetic and pressure ulcers. The term “chronic wound” defines wounds that have not healed within three months. The possible causes that transform a simple wound into a chronic one are the object of study, and research has focused on infection as one of the crucial factors in producing and maintaining chronic wounds. In fact, 60% of chronic wounds are colonized by bacteria living in a biofilm. A biofilm is a complex aggregation of microorganisms characterized by the secretion of an adhesive and protective matrix. The two most common biofilm generators are Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Several conditions constitute risk factors for the formation of biofilms, such as diabetes mellitus, venous insufficiency, malnutrition, cancer, oedema, and repetitive trauma. There are no standard diagnostic tests to determine the presence of biofilms, but there are several clinical indications which can help, and performing a tissue biopsy is better than a swab. Wound bed preparation is a crucial part of biofilm treatment and surgical or conservative sharp wound debridement are the preferred treatments that are effective in removing or reducing biofilms. We report three cases of complex wounds and their treatment.