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Use of molecular techniques to study microbial diversity in the skin: Chronic wounds reevaluated

Davies, Charlotte E., Wilson, Melanie J., Hill, Katja E. ORCID:, Stephens, Philip ORCID:, Hill, C. Michael, Harding, Keith Gordon and Thomas, David William ORCID: 2001. Use of molecular techniques to study microbial diversity in the skin: Chronic wounds reevaluated. Wound Repair and Regeneration 9 (5) , pp. 332-340. 10.1046/j.1524-475x.2001.00332.x

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The skin is colonized by an array of microorganisms which form its natural microflora. Disruption to the normal barrier function of the skin (due to trauma or disease) may result in invasion of the dermis by opportunistic bacteria. To date, these organisms, which may contribute to the chronicity of skin wounds, have been analyzed solely by culture methods. It is increasingly realized that standard culture methods of analysis do not accurately reflect the full diversity of complex microflora. This review discusses the limitations of traditional culture approaches and reviews recent advances in molecular microbiological techniques which facilitate a more comprehensive characterization of the microflora within clinical samples. The currently available technologies and techniques are described, as is their use in clinical practice and their potential for diagnostic screening. Chronic venous ulceration of the lower limbs is an important skin disorder in which the microflora invading the dermal tissues contribute to the observed delayed healing. Using chronic leg ulcers as a working example, we show how strict culture and molecular microbiological techniques may be employed, for the first time in combination, to definitively characterize the invading microbial community of the dermis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1067-1927
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 09:51

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