Understanding the Burn Wound Microbiome: Comparing Traditional Wound Cultures to Next Generation Sequencing Technology

Project: Research project

Project Details


Burn wound sepsis remains a significant problem in the treatment of burn wounds. This condition is particularly prominent in combat casualties, comprising about 10% of war wounds that are at risk. Clinical care is driven by looking at the wounds, culturing the bacteria that are present, and treating these with antibiotics and surgery. However sometimes this is unsuccessful, perhaps because we do not know all the organisms that are there, how these interact with each other and with the burned patient’s immune system, and/or the real effects of antibiotic treatments and surgery on the bacteria and fungi that are there. New technology using genetic signatures of all microbes within the wound is now available. We intend to use this technology to fully describe what organisms are usually in burn wounds, how different patients might have different ones, how these interact with each other and the patient, and the real effects of treatment on the burn wound itself. With this information,we will have much more knowledge of what actually going on in the wound and how the bacteria and fungi there can be better controlled. This information will inform medical providers with much better understanding of what is usually in the wound so it can be treated more effectively. This project will take about 3 years to collect the specimens, and another year for analysis. Once completed, the knowledge gained will be used to develop better treatment strategies for the severely burned warfighter. This will be of particular use in far-forward settings and mobile campaigns, and also at level 5 facilities back home
Effective start/end date6/15/236/14/27


  • Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity: $2,199,910.00


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