Characterization of bacterial communities in venous insufficiency wounds by use of conventional culture and molecular diagnostic methods

J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Nov;49(11):3812-9. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00847-11. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


Microbial infections delay wound healing, but the effect of the composition of the wound microbiome on healing parameters is unknown. To better understand bacterial communities in chronic wounds, we analyzed debridement samples from lower-extremity venous insufficiency ulcers using the following: conventional anaerobic and aerobic bacterial cultures; the Ibis T5000 universal biosensor (Abbott Molecular); and 16S 454 FLX titanium series pyrosequencing (Roche). Wound debridement samples were obtained from 10 patients monitored clinically for at least 6 months, at which point 5 of the 10 sampled wounds had healed. Pyrosequencing data revealed significantly higher bacterial abundance and diversity in wounds that had not healed at 6 months. Additionally, Actinomycetales was increased in wounds that had not healed, and Pseudomonadaceae was increased in wounds that had healed by the 6-month follow-up. Baseline wound surface area, duration, or analysis by Ibis or conventional culture did not reveal significant differences between wounds that healed after 6 months and those that did not. Thus, pyrosequencing identified distinctive baseline characteristics of wounds that did not heal by the 6-month follow-up, furthering our understanding of potentially unique microbiome characteristics of chronic wounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Bacteriological Techniques*
  • Biodiversity
  • Coinfection / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Leg / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
  • Venous Insufficiency / complications*
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wound Infection / microbiology*