Wounds are complex and may be difficult to heal because of the community of microbes present within the wound. Traditional laboratory culture methods do not provide an accurate picture of the microbial interactions or representation of microorganisms within a chronic wound. Traditional cultures have value in acute infections, but molecular testing can improve chronic wounds with detecting multiple pathogens with same day results.
- Chronic wounds contain polymicrobial infections existing as a cooperative community that may be resistant to antibiotic therapy.
- Chronic wounds are susceptible to bacterial biofilm. Biofilms are membranous tissue formed by bacteria attached to the wound bed and fused with extracellular matrix secreted by the film. The bacteria incased in the biofilm can make it hard to detect bacteria with traditional culture method.
- Molecular testing allows for the identification of nearly all organisms present in a wound irrespective of the ability of these organisms to be grown in culture. DNA analyses allow absolute identification of microorganisms from very small clinical specimens.
- Advancements with molecular testing provide accurate pathogen detection in a timely manner to help diagnose and treat the patient.
- 99.8% accuracy in detecting bacteria, fungi, and virus
- Microbes in biofilm and anaerobic pathogens can be detected
- Identification of resistant genes so that targeted therapy can be implemented from the onset of diagnosis.
- Identifies polymicrobial infections
- Prior antibiotic therapy does not interfere pathogen detection
- Requires less sample amount, collected with e-swab
- Same-day results with antibiotic guidance
Traditional Wound Culture
- Only 15-30% accuracy to find dominant species within infection
- Microbes that move to a biofilm, hard to grow
- Only relevant in acute infections
- Identifies less than 1% of microbes, hard to grow anaerobes with culture
- Prior antibiotic use can mask growth of bacteria
- Chronic wounds require sample collection by syringe or tissue biopsy, painful collection
- 2-3 days for results