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Importance of biofilm formation in surgical infection.

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Published:1st Jan 2017
Author: Percival SL.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:Br J Surg. 2017;104(2):e85-e94.

Background: Biofilms are ubiquitous, and have been observed in both acute and chronic wounds. Their role in wound healing and infection, however, remains controversial. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of the role and relevance of biofilms to surgical wounds.

Methods: A search of PubMed, Science Direct and Web of Science databases was performed to identify studies related to biofilms. Specifically, studies were sought in acute and chronic wounds, and the management and treatment of non-healing and infected skin and wounds.

Results: Biofilms may develop in all open wounds. In chronic wounds, biofilms may play a role in prolonging and preventing healing, causing chronic inflammation and increasing the risk of infection. Controversies exist regarding the methods presently employed for biofilm detection and management and few data exist to underpin these decisions.

Conclusion: Biofilms in acute surgical and chronic wounds appear to cause a delay in healing and potentially increase the risk of infection. Biofilms can be prevented and once developed can be controlled using wound desloughing and debridement.

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