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A Journal on Physiopathology and Therapy of Chronic Cutaneous Ulcers


Official Journal of the Italian Association for Cutaneous Ulcers
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Acta Vulnologica 2005 December;3(3-4):105-9

language: English, Italian

Bacteria and skin ulcers. Infection detection

Nicodemi E. M., Mallardo F., Dore I. A., Gaido J., Guarnera G.

Department of Vascular Surgery Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata, Rome


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Aim. The aim of our study is to evaluate 20 cutaneous ulcers by comparing their microbiology with the clinical signs of infection, using swab and biopsy techniques on the ulcer fundus.
Methods. Twenty consecutive patients with cutaneous ulcers with varying aetiology have been tested with a semiquantitative swab culture and a quantitative 4 mm punch biopsy for aerobic and anaerobic germs and antibiogram correlated.
Results. In 53% of ulcers we found more species of micro-organisms but a lower polymicrobic count in the samples taken with the punch test. In 32% identical microbic species were present in both the swab and punch specimens. In 15% of cases there were more micro-organism species found with the TFU swab than in the punch material.
Conclusion. A diagnosis of an infected ulcer is based primarily on its clinical presentation. However it is equally important to establish the bacterial species involved in the infective process, in as much as the interaction between germs appears to be a very significant obstacle to the ulcer’s healing process.

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