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Int Wound J. 2014 Feb;11(1):44-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-481X.2012.01036.x. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Evaluation of the Essen Rotary as a new technique for bacterial swabs: results of a prospective controlled clinical investigation in 50 patients with chronic leg ulcers.

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Department for Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, University Hospital of Essen-Duisburg, Essen, GermanyInstitute for Microbiology, University Hospital of Essen-Duisburg, Essen, Germany.


Most chronic wounds are colonised with different microorganisms, especially problematic bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which represent an increasing therapeutic challenge in the modern wound therapy regimen. Therefore, it is essential to specify the bacteria in wounds for an individual-specific treatment. In most patients, an exemplary bacterial swab is taken from the centre of the wound surface. This so-called Levine technique is propagated currently as the gold standard. The aim of our clinical investigation was to compare the results of different swab techniques to the new established Essen Rotary. In this monocentric prospective investigation, 50 patients with chronic leg ulcers were examined consecutively. The results of our clinical study show that bacteria are heterogeneously spread on wound surfaces. The analysis of the semiquantitative measured results showed that the Essen Rotary could detect significant more bacteria with a total amount of 111 bacteria (P = 0·049) compared to usual swab techniques. Considerably, only the Essen Rotary identified five compared to three MRSA-patients detected by other techniques. The Essen Rotary is an efficient, economic and uncomplicated modification of bacteriological swab techniques which detects significant more bacteria compared to other conventional swab techniques. Therefore, the Essen Rotary may become the new gold standard in routinely taken bacteriological swabs especially for MRSA screenings in patients with chronic leg ulcers.


Essen Rotary; leg ulcer; Levine technique; MRSA; swab

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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