OBJECTIVE: Antibiotic resistance is increasing among organisms that commonly cause wound infections. Therefore, it becomes increasingly desirable to prevent wound infections as systemic antibiotic treatment of established wound infections becomes more difficult, more expensive, and potentially more toxic. The ability to incorporate antimicrobial compounds into modern wound dressings provides an opportunity to prevent wound infections without the risk of systemic toxicity, thus diminishing morbidity, mortality, and cost to the healthcare system.
DESIGN: In these studies, the authors tested 16 antimicrobial agents in a unique composite wound dressing (TheraGauze; Soluble Systems, LLC, Newport News, Virginia) against clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates and Gram-negative organisms commonly associated with wound infections and antibiotic resistance. Disk diffusion susceptibility testing is used to quantify antimicrobial activity.
RESULTS: Broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity was found for the following agents in the composite wound dressing: hydrogen peroxide, tobramycin, chlorhexidine digluconate, chlorhexidine gluconate, levofloxacin, and silver.
CONCLUSION: These studies suggest that potent local antibacterial activity can be achieved with several antimicrobials in this wound dressing.
Charlene G. Echague, BS, was a research assistant, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, at the time of this writing; Pamela S. Hair, MS, is a research associate, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia. Kenji M. Cunnion, MD, MPH, is an associate professor of pediatrics, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Children's Specialty Group, Norfolk, Virginia.
Submitted September 17, 2009; accepted in revised form January 15, 2010.