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Comparison Of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Biofilm Infection In Partial- And Full-thickness Burn Wounds
Kenneth S. Brandenburg, Alan J. Weaver, Jr, Liwu Qian, Tao You, Ping Chen, SL Rajasekhar Karna, Shaina L. Van Stryk, Uzziel Pineda, Kai P. Leung.
US Army Institute of Surgical Research, JBSA FT Sam Houston, TX, USA.

BACKGROUND: From 2001-2011, more than 10% (419) of soldiers evacuated from combat theatres with craniomaxillofacial battle injuries presented with burns. Due to its inherent virulence, antimicrobial resistance, and ability to form biofilms, the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa represents one of the greatest challenges in burn care.
METHODS: In this study, we compared biofilm formation by P. aeruginosa in both deep partial- and full-thickness burns. Scald wounds, ~10% of the total body surface area, were created in anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats (350-450g; n=144). Immediately post-burn, clinical P. aeruginosa strain 12-4-4(59) was spread over the burned skin. Animals were euthanized and tissue collected for CFU counts, biofilm gene expression, and host response to burn infection on days 1, 3, 7, and 11 post-burn.
RESULTS: P. aeruginosa developed robust wound infections (~1×109 CFU/g tissue) in both types of burn wounds. Expression of biofilm matrix genes and virulence genes indicated formation of mature P. aeruginosa biofilms within the burned skin regardless of burn depth. However, neutrophil activity was diminished in full-thickness as compared to partial-thickness burn infections.
CONCLUSIONS: Development of biofilms within burn wounds, coupled with lack of easily deployable anti-biofilm therapies, remains a serious threat to the injured soldier. These new in vivo biofilm-infection models provide a clinically relevant vehicle for testing novel antimicrobial treatments.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author and not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

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