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Title: Developing novel topical antimicrobial agents for the treatment of biofilm infections
Author: Halstead, Fenella
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 4529
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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Background Bacterial wound infections (especially those involving biofilms) represent a major challenge to healthcare, and are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Owing to the rise in antimicrobial resistance, there is renewed interest in alternative antimicrobial agents for treatment of wound infections, where prevention of colonisation largely relies on topically applied biocides. Objectives The aim was to investigate the antibacterial activity of acetic acid (AA), following on from preliminary testing, and small-scale use on burns patients. This led on to the testing of additional products (SurgihoneyRO (SH1) and blue light (BL)), for which no prior evaluation (against biofilms) had been performed. Methods In vitro experiments were performed to test the antimicrobial activity of the agents against bacteria growing planktonically and as biofilms. Comparisons were also made to a range of commercially-available antimicrobial dressings (AMDs) and medical honeys. Results were assessed through measurement of biofilm biomass, and biofilm seeding using a crystal violet assay. Results All agents were effective against biofilms of a large panel of clinically important nosocomial wound pathogens. AA could prevent biofilm formation at concentrations of ≤0.31%, and eradication of mature biofilms was observed after 3 hours of exposure. SH1 prevented biofilm formation of 16 bacterial isolates at dilutions (from neat) of 1:2 to 1:128. Mature biofilms were highly susceptible to BL, with significant reduction in seeding observed for all isolates. Conclusions All of the test antimicrobial agents have shown promise in vitro for the treatment and eradication of biofilm infections caused by a range of important wound pathogens. However, there are still some unanswered questions. Clinical trials are planned, and it remains to be seen whether the in vitro findings will translate to the in vivo setting, where there is a complex interplay between host and pathogen, and many other factors that influence biofilm presence and persistence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: National Institute for Health Research Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre ; University of Birmingham ; University of Aston in Birmingham ; Scar Free Burns Research Centre
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology