Fungi found as a factor that prolong the healing process of chronic wounds

Emobileclinic Researchers Corner 


The Journal of American Society for Microbiology has published the work of Researchers from University who uncovered that fungal communities found in chronic wounds can form mixed bacterial-fungal bio films which is linked with poor outcomes and delay healing process.

The team studied 100 patients with diabetic foot ulcers for 6 months until the wound healed or required amputation. They found that fungal components of the microbiome have a major role in hampering the healing of chronic wounds.

According to one of the authors, Elizabeth Grice, “chronic wounds are a silent epidemic, and usually occur in conjunction with another disorder such as diabetes or obesity, but once a chronic wound occurs, it requires a lot of healthcare and has a devastating effect on a patient’s quality of life”.

In the study, all the ulcer patients received the same medical care, some sampled patients’ deep wound fluid every two weeks were sent for genetic sequencing and identification of the fungi residing in the wounds. It was found that 80 percent of the wounds encouraged fungi to thrive much higher than previous estimates from about 284 different species.
Cladosporium herbarum was seen in about 41percent of the samples and represented the most common fungus and the human pathogen candida albicans had a little over one-fifth of the samples.

In the study, no single species of fungi was associated with poor outcomes, but rather mixed communities were associated with slow healing or complications such as bone infection and amputation. However, increase levels of sac fungi, at the initial swabbing were associated with wounds that took longer than 2 months to heal.

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The study is a first step toward better understanding of chronic wounds and develops better ways to managing. The team noted that “there are polymicrobial interactions within these wounds and it is important to examine the fungal and bacterial communities and their interactions with each other and the immune system to impair or promote healing.”



Elizabeth A. Grice, (2016): Defining the Chronic-Wound Microbiome: Fungal Communities are Prevalent, Dynamic and Associated with Delayed Healing. mBio, doi: 10.1128/mBio.01058-16

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