Chronic wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and venous leg ulcers, represent a significant cause of morbidity in developed countries, predominantly in older patients. The aetiology of these wounds is probably multifactorial, but the role of bacteria in their pathogenesis is still unclear. Moreover, the presence of bacterial biofilms has been considered an important factor responsible for wounds chronicity. We aimed to investigate the laser action as a possible biofilm eradicating strategy, in order to attempt an additional treatment to antibiotic therapy to improve wound healing. In this work, the effect of near-infrared (NIR) laser was evaluated on mono and polymicrobial biofilms produced by two pathogenic bacterial strains, Staphylococcus aureus PECHA10 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PECHA9, both isolated from a chronic venous leg ulcer. Laser effect was assessed by biomass measurement, colony forming unit count and cell viability assay. It was shown that the laser treatment has not affected the biofilms biomass neither the cell viability, although a small disruptive action was observed in the structure of all biofilms tested. A reduction on cell growth was observed in S. aureus and in polymicrobial biofilms. This work represents an initial in vitro approach to study the influence of NIR laser treatment on bacterial biofilms in order to explain its potentially advantageous effects in the healing process of chronic infected wounds.
© 2011 The Authors. International Wound Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Medicalhelplines.com Inc.