Bacterial contamination of open wounds significantly inhibits wound contraction required in the healing process. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been shown to overcome contraction inhibition in wound-healing models impaired by diabetes or steroids. This study was designed to determine the effect of bFGF on wound contraction inhibition in an area contaminated with bacterial overgrowth. The topically applied bFGF reversed inhibition to wound contraction that normally occurs with bacterial contamination. This reversal does not appear to be due to increased collagen synthesis since bFGF has been shown to decrease collagen synthesis and the treated wounds showed no increase in breaking strength. The use of bFGF significantly decreased the number of days required for wound healing (P < 0.01) despite active bacterial invasion and may be of value in the treatment of human contaminated wounds.
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