Panbacterial real-time PCR to evaluate bacterial burden in chronic wounds treated with Cutimed™ Sorbact™

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Jul;31(7):1523-9. doi: 10.1007/s10096-011-1473-x. Epub 2011 Nov 19.


The impact of polymicrobial bacterial infection on chronic wounds has been studied extensively, but standard bacteriological analysis is not always sensitive enough. Molecular approaches represent a promising alternative to the standard bacteriological analysis. This work aimed to assess the usefulness of a panbacterial quantitative real-time PCR reaction to quantitate the total bacterial load in chronic wounds treated with Cutimed™ Sorbact™, a novel therapeutic approach based on hydrophobic binding of bacteria to a membrane. The results obtained by panbacterial real-time PCR on conserved sequences of the bacterial 16S gene show that the bacterial burden significantly decreased in 10 out of 15 healing chronic wounds, and did not change in 5 out of 5 non-healing chronic wounds. On the contrary, classical culture for S. aureus and P. aeruginosa, and real-time PCR for Bacteroides and Fusobacterium did not show any correlation with the clinical outcome. Our study also shows that quantification of chronic wounds by panbacterial real-time PCR is to be performed on biopsies and not on swabs. These results show that panbacterial real-time PCR is a promising and quick method of determining the total bacterial load in chronic wounds, and suggest that it might be an important biomarker for the prognosis of chronic wounds under treatment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Coinfection / microbiology*
  • Coinfection / therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Infection / microbiology*
  • Wound Infection / therapy


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S