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Infection following soft tissue injury: its role in wound healing

Ryan, Terence J

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: April 2007 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 124–128
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32801a3e7c
Skin and soft tissue infections

Purpose of review Wound infection has always been an unconquered problem temporarily improved with the discovery of antibiotics but now struggling with an epidemic of resistant organisms. Wound healing has become a popular sub-speciality for the doctor and allied health professional working in the laboratory or at the bedside. It is a field with many new journals and frequent congresses that publish elaborate proceedings. These have been examined for this review.

Recent findings Measurement of infection remains elusive. A clear difference between contamination and infection is difficult to delineate. In the era of the HIV/AIDS epidemic attention is drawn to host factors, which when attended to are as effective in suppressing infection as antisepsis. The bacterial capacity to put on a protective coat known as biofilm is a newly investigated system.

Summary Antisepsis and antibiotics continue to provide a wealth of studies and some new technology. The evidence base, as examined by Cochrane systematic reviews, suggests that our strategy for preventing and dealing with infection of wounds needs further refinement.

Oxford International Wound Healing Foundation, Oxford, UK

Correspondence to Terence J. Ryan, DM, FRCP, Emeritus Professor of Dermatology, Hill House, Abberbury Avenue, Iffley, Oxon, OX44EU, UK Tel: +44 1865 777 041; e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.