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Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(3):2535-50. doi: 10.3390/ijms13032535. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Comparison of culture and molecular identification of bacteria in chronic wounds.

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Southwest Regional Wound Care Center, Lubbock, TX 79410, USA.


Clinical diagnostics of chronic polymicrobial infections, such as those found in chronic wounds, represent a diagnostic challenge for both culture and molecular methods. In the current retrospective study, the results of aerobic bacterial cultures and culture-free bacterial identification using DNA analyses were compared. A total of 168 chronic wounds were studied. The majority of bacteria identified with culture testing were also identified with molecular testing, but the majority of bacteria identified with the molecular testing were not identified with culture testing. Seventeen (17) different bacterial taxa were identified with culture, and 338 different bacterial taxa were identified with molecular testing. This study demonstrates the increased sensitivity that molecular microbial identification can have over culture methodologies, and previous studies suggest that molecular bacterial identification can improve the clinical outcomes of patients with chronic wounds.


biofilm; diagnosis; molecular; wound

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