We first started to wonder about the impact that phages might have on polymicrobial, long-term bacterial communities, such as those that colonize chronic wounds, a few years ago. Studying this question requires characterization of both the bacterial and the phage communities. Graduate student Sam Verbanic has led our effort to examine these communities in chronic wounds, aided by collaborators John Deacon and Juhee Lee. We now report the results of the bacterial analysis. Interestingly, facultative anaerobes seem to be a negative determinant of whether the wound heals; perhaps these metabolically flexible organisms are better able to weather the fluctuating environment of a wound.

This was the first clinical study of our lab. Stay tuned for the virome and phage analysis!

Verbanic S, Shen Y, Lee J, Deacon JM, Chen IA. Microbial predictors of healing and short-term effect of debridement on the microbiome of chronic wounds: the role of facultative anaerobes. npj Biofilms Microbiomes, 6:21.