Burns are physically debilitating and potentially fatal injuries. The most common etiology of burn wound infections in the US is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is particularly recalcitrant when biofilms form. The current standard of care, silver sulfadiazine (SSD) is effective in reducing bacterial load, but less effective in improving burn wound healing. New treatments that can manage infection while simultaneously improving healing would provide a benefit in the treatment of burns. Porcine models are frequently used as a model for human wound healing but can be expensive due to the need to separate wounds to avoid cross contamination. The porcine model developed in this study offers the capability to study multiple partial thickness burn wound (PTBW) sites on a single animal with minimal crosstalk to study wound healing, infection, and inflammation. The current study evaluates a wound rinse and a wound gel formulated with a non-toxic, polycationic chitosan derivative that is hypothesized to manage infection while also promoting healing, providing a potential alternate to SSD. Studies in vitro and in this PTBW porcine model compare treatment with the chitosan derivative formulations to SSD. The wound rinse and wound gel are observed to disrupt mature MRSA biofilms in vitro and reduce the MRSA load in vivo when compared to that of the standard of care. In vivo data further show increased re-epithelialization and faster healing in burns treated with wound rinse/gel as compared to SSD. Taken together, the data demonstrate the potential of the wound rinse/gel to significantly enhance healing, promote re-epithelialization, and reduce bacterial burden in infected PTBW using an economical porcine model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas