Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacteria toxic to wound-treating maggots

Date:
February 5, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Bacteria that infect chronic wounds can be deadly to maggot "bio-surgeons" used to treat the lesions, show researchers. The findings could lead to more effective treatment of wounds and the development of novel antibiotics.

Bacteria that infect chronic wounds can be deadly to maggot 'biosurgeons' used to treat the lesions, show researchers writing in the journal Microbiology. The findings could lead to more effective treatment of wounds and the development of novel antibiotics.

Scientists from the Copenhagen Wound Healing Centre, Statens Serum Institut and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark showed that maggots applied to simulated wounds heavily infected with the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, were unable to treat the wound and were left dead after 20 hours.

Chronic wounds, such as leg ulcers, affect 1% of the Western population and are painful and difficult to treat. Use of maggots to disinfect wounds is an ancient practice that regained popularity in the early 1990s. Maggot Debridement Therapy (MDT) is now a standard procedure at wound care centres all over the world, in which sterile larvae from the green bottle fly Lucilia sericata are applied to the wound either directly or contained within a sealed nylon bag. The maggots gently ingest necrotic (dead) tissue and kill ingested bacteria in the gut. In addition, the maggots secrete antimicrobial compounds into the wound, help reduce inflammation and promote wound healing. The actual biological mechanisms responsible for the process are still largely a mystery.

P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterium responsible for many hospital-acquired infections. It is often associated with chronic wounds in which the bacteria clump together to form biofilms. By effectively talking to each other via a well-studied communication system called quorum sensing (QS), bacteria in biofilms are known to be more successful at avoiding destruction by the host immune system as well as antibiotics.

Dr Anders Schou Andersen, who led the research, explained that QS was also the key to P. aeruginosa's toxicity to maggots. "When we blocked the QS signalling pathways in the bacteria, the maggots were much better at surviving and potentially cleansing the wounds. Signalling between bacteria growing in biofilms is known to lead to the production of lethal toxins, without which the bacteria are more vulnerable to eradication."

Dr Andersen believes the research could benefit patients with persistent wounds. "MDT is generally very effective. It has been said that in a few cases MDT had failed, leaving the maggots dead in the lesion. We now think that this was probably due to the presence of P. aeruginosa in the wound," he said. "If we can find the specific bacterial mechanism that kills the maggots, we could target this when developing new treatments. For example, wounds infected with P. aeruginosa could be treated with an agent that interrupts bacterial signalling to ensure the success of maggot therapy and thereby wound healing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Bacteria toxic to wound-treating maggots." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204204304.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, February 5). Bacteria toxic to wound-treating maggots. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204204304.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Bacteria toxic to wound-treating maggots." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204204304.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins