Found: Factor Which Delays Wound Healing

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Found: Factor Which Delays Wound Healing

New research carried out at The University of Manchester has identified a bacterium – normally present on the skin- which causes poor wound healing in certain conditions.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa – and its variants – are associated with delays in wound healing.

A receptor – which allows the body to recognise the bacteria – if damaged resulting in loss of function, is associated with a change in the balance of the community of bacteria present normally on the skin.

And according to Dr Sheena Cruickshank, the shift in balance has an enormous impact on the ability of the wound to heal.

The study was carried out at Manchester and co-lead by Dr Cruickshank and Dr Matthew Hardman, who is now at now at The University of Hull.

The bacterium, which lives naturally on all of us, has previously been associated with wound infections and infection is a major complication of skin wounds that fail to heal. At least one in ten of us will develop a wound that heals poorly as we age.

The research, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and funded by the Medical Research Council, casts new light on why 1 in 10 people will develop a wound infection which does not heal well.

The research was carried out using mice that were previously showed to heal poorly. The mice lack the receptor Nod2 that recognises bacterial components and has been shown to help regulate the host response to bacteria.

There is an urgent need to understand the bacterial communities in our skin and why so many of us will develop wounds that do not heal. Wounds can be caused by a multitude of factors from trauma to bed sores, but infection is a complication that can on occasion lead to life threatening illness. Many people are struggling with wounds that heal poorly but this new study suggests that the types of bacteria present may be responsible for our failure to heal which is important for considering how we manage wound treatment.

Dr Sheena Cruickshank

The team found that mice lacking Nod2 had more Pseudomonas aeruginosa than normal mice and this was associated with delayed wound healing.

The bacteria when added to normal mice also caused them to heal poorly. The team argue the findings are applicable to humans as Pseudomonas aeruginosa is associated with infected wounds that heal poorly in people as well.

Dr Cruickshank said: “There is an urgent need to understand the bacterial communities in our skin and why so many of us will develop wounds that do not heal.

“Wounds can be caused by a multitude of factors from trauma to bed sores, but infection is a complication that can on occasion lead to life threatening illness.

“Many people are struggling with wounds that heal poorly but this new study suggests that the types of bacteria present may be responsible for our failure to heal which is important for considering how we manage wound treatment.

Source : University of Manchester