Burns research & reconstructive surgery

Biofilm & infection of burn wound

Kennedy P., Brammah S. and Wills E.

One of the most significant problems in burns care is that of infection. Following a burn injury the defensive mechanisms of the skin are impaired or destroyed and colonization by micro-organisms rapidly occurs.

Many of the micro-organisms commonly found on the burns wound are known to produce biofilms, a collection of organisms attached to a surface and sounded by matrix containing polysaccharides known as extracellular polymeric substances (EPS).

Biofilms are the cause of significant morbidity and mortality in relation to implanted medical devices and septic complications associated with indwelling intravenous catheters. The organisms within biofilms are well-known for developing resistance to antibiotics and to the immune system.

It is estimated that two-thirds of all chronic diseases are biofilm-related. Biofilm formation in burn wounds has not been thoroughly examined. This study will help in understanding the mechanisms of bacterial wound invasion and burn wound sepsis, and therefore help the management of burn wounds.