Press release – Wound infection: Don’t kill the bacteria!

A new study published today in the US medical journal WOUNDS has proven that wound infection must be treated by helping the body establish the right bacteria instead of current medical practice, which is to kill them. This is a fundamental shift in how we view infection.

It has for decades been standard practise to use antibiotics and antiseptics to kill bacteria in a wound with the aim to remove an infection. However, in 2016, the FDA concluded that wound dressings containing antibiotics and antiseptics do not remove wound infections and do not improve healing.

The outer surfaces of our body are in constant contact with the environment and it is not possible for the body to keep these sterile. Instead the body actively populates all external surfaces with particular microbes (the microbiome) to ensure there is no “vacant space”. This makes it very difficult for disease-causing microbes to gain a foothold or for one species to suddenly take over control. However, antibiotics and antiseptics indiscriminately kill bacteria and they therefore destroy the balance the body is trying to create. The result is that these treatments do not assist healing, but may even delay healing.

Using a new micropore particle technology (MPPT), it has been possible to reliably remove wound infections and support healing for a wide range of acute and chronic wounds and ulcers. This approach does not kill the bacteria but instead creates conditions that enable the body’s immune system to establish the correct balance of microbes in the wound, and achieving this balance means removing the infection. These findings therefore provide evidence that infections in the wound have to be treated fundamentally differently to infections in internal sterile body regions.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies said:
“Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is an escalating global threat that puts millions of lives across the world in danger. We cannot rely on the development of new antibiotics alone to mitigate this threat. We need better preventative measures as well as alternative treatments, including innovative ways to use the body’s own immune system and healthy bacteria. I am proud to say the UK are leaders in research into this area.”

Background Information:
1. In the UK there are annually 2.2 million wounds requiring extended treatment and the direct costs of care to the NHS is £5.3 billion annually (Guest et al. 2015). In community care, Guest et al. (2017) reported that 48% of the wounds are chronic, demonstrating the limitations of current approaches.
2. The main reason wounds do not heal is due to infection (Leaper et al. 2015).
3. Micropore particle technology (MPPT) consists of small particles filled with pores. They use a combination of capillary flow and evaporation to remove exudate on the wound. This micro-pumping process in parallel removes the toxins and enzymes that bacteria and fungi secrete to inhibit the immune cells and creates holes in the biofilm that bacteria and fungi secrete as a shield against the immune cells. The result is that MPPT disrupts the weaponry of bacteria and fungi, whereby the immune cells regain their ability to selective remove bacteria and fungi to create the balance it wants in the microbiome.

Reference:
Article Title: Time to Abandon Antimicrobial Approaches in Wound Healing: A Paradigm Shift
Journal: WOUNDS – A Compendium of Clinical Research and Practice, https://www.woundsresearch.com/article/sams-dodd
Publication date: 01 November 2018