Biofilm formation may complicate some necrotizing soft tissue infections

July 7, 2016, JCI Journals

Group A streptococcus (GAS) can cause a life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis, which spreads rapidly and destroys soft tissue. Treatment of these GAS necrotizing soft tissue infections (NSTI) typically requires intensive care along with surgical intervention and often amputation of the affected limb.

A new study in JCI Insight provides evidence that formation of biofilm, a collection of bacteria that adhere to a tissue surface, can be a complicating feature of GAS NSTI.

A team led by Anna Norrby-Teglund and Nikolai Siemens of the Karolinska Institute identified a GAS NSTI patient that seemed to respond favorably to antibiotics and surgical cleaning of the wound. Despite a lack of GAS-associated symptoms, reexamination of the wound revealed the presence of a thick layer of biofilm.

Further analysis of NSTI cases revealed the presence of biofilm in a third of those studied.

Moreover, the presence of biofilm was associated with higher bacterial load, extensive inflammation, and more severe tissue damage compared to wound biopsies without biofilm. The results of this study indicate that biofilm should be considered as a complicating factor of NSTI.

As improves pathogen persistence and responsiveness to antibiotics, further work should evaluate treatment protocols clear GAS biofilm at the site of infection.

Explore further: Paradigm shift: 'We need to study lumps of bacteria'

More information: Nikolai Siemens et al, Biofilm in group A streptococcal necrotizing soft tissue infections, JCI Insight (2016). DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.87882

Related Stories

Paradigm shift: 'We need to study lumps of bacteria'

March 23, 2016

New research from the University of Copenhagen reveals that bacteria which agglutinate before entering the body are far more resistant than single-celled bacteria. This may be the cause of chronic infections.

Novel anti-biofilm nano coating developed

April 25, 2016

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed an innovative anti-biofilm coating, which has significant anti-adhesive potential for a variety of medical and industrial applications.

Recommended for you

Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments

March 19, 2019

Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College ...

OSIRIS-REx reveals asteroid Bennu has big surprises

March 19, 2019

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface. Bennu also revealed itself ...

The powerful meteor that no one saw (except satellites)

March 19, 2019

At precisely 11:48 am on December 18, 2018, a large space rock heading straight for Earth at a speed of 19 miles per second exploded into a vast ball of fire as it entered the atmosphere, 15.9 miles above the Bering Sea.

Levitating objects with light

March 19, 2019

Researchers at Caltech have designed a way to levitate and propel objects using only light, by creating specific nanoscale patterning on the objects' surfaces.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.