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A Journal on Physiopathology and Therapy of Chronic Cutaneous Ulcers

Official Journal of the Italian Association for Cutaneous Ulcers
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Acta Vulnologica 2009 June;7(2):65-69

language: Italian

Incidence and role of anaerobic bacteria in chronic skin ulcers of lower limbs

La Vela V., Persico M. C., Lunardon L., Veraldi S.

Istituto di Scienze Dermatologiche Università di Milano Fondazione I.R.C.C.S. Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Milano, Italia


Aim. To evaluate the incidence of anaerobic bacteria in patients with chronic skin ulcers of lower limbs.
Methods. Examinations for search of anaerobic bacteria were carried out in forty adult patients.
Results. Two out of 40 patients (5%) were positive for anaerobic bacteria. In both patients, ulcers were superinfected by Fusobacterium sp.
Conclusion. On the basis of the results of our study, anaerobic superinfections of chronic skin ulcers of lower limbs are rare. However, it is possible that this low percentage is due to technical difficulties related to sampling, culture, isolation and identification of anaerobes. This low percentage would support a minor role of anaerobes in natural evolution of these ulcers. Because of previously mentioned technical reasons as well as high costs (more than 40 euros/patient), search for anaerobes in chronic ulcers of lower limbs cannot be considered a routine method. Furthermore, very recent literature data support that molecular biology techniques, in the next future, will substitute for current traditional techniques.

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