Negative pressure wound therapy does not diminish efficacy of topical antibiotic powder in a preclinical contaminated wound model

S. M. Shiels, J. C. Wenke, N. M. Sgromolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aims High-energy injuries can result in multiple complications, the most prevalent being infection. Vancomycin powder has been used with increasing frequency in orthopaedic trauma given its success in reducing infection following spine surgery. Additionally, large, traumatic injuries require wound coverage and management by dressings such as negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). NPWT has been shown to decrease the ability of antibiotic cement beads to reduce infection, but its effect on antibiotic powder is not known. The goal of this study was to determine if NPWT reduces the efficacy of topically applied antibiotic powder. Methods Complex musculoskeletal wounds were created in goats and inoculated with a strain of Staphylococcus aureus modified to emit light. Six hours after contaminating the wounds, imaging, irrigation, and debridement and treatment application were performed. Animals received either vancomycin powder with a wound pouch dressing or vancomycin powder with NPWT. Results There were no differences in eradication of bacteria when vancomycin powder was used in combination with NPWT (4.5% of baseline) compared to vancomycin powder with a wound pouch dressing (1.7% of baseline) (p = 0.986), even though approximately 50% of the vancomycin was recovered in the NPWT exudate canister. Conclusion The antimicrobial efficacy of the vancomycin powder was not diminished by the application of NPWT. These topical and locally applied therapies are potentially effective tools that can provide quick, simple treatments to prevent infection while providing coverage. By reducing the occurrence of infection, the recovery is shortened, leading to an overall improvement in quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalBone and Joint Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Local antibiotic therapy
  • Musculoskeletal infection
  • Orthopaedic trauma
  • Topical antibiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Negative pressure wound therapy does not diminish efficacy of topical antibiotic powder in a preclinical contaminated wound model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this