Development of a reproducible porcine model of infected burn wounds
Keywords:burn wounds, infection, porcine model, protocol, wound healing
Severe burns are traumatic and physically debilitating injuries with a high rate of mortality. Bacterial infections often complicate burn injuries, which presents unique challenges for wound management and improved patient outcomes. Currently, pigs are used as the gold standard of pre-clinical models to study infected skin wounds due to the similarity between porcine and human skin in terms of structure and immunological response. However, utilizing this large animal model for wound infection studies can be technically challenging and create issues with data reproducibility. We present a detailed protocol for a porcine model of infected burn wounds based on our experience in creating and evaluating full thickness burn wounds infected with Staphylococcus aureus on six pigs. Wound healing kinetics and bacterial clearance were measured over a period of 27 d in this model. Enumerated are steps to achieve standardized wound creation, bacterial inoculation, and dressing techniques. Systematic evaluation of wound healing and bacterial colonization of the wound bed is also described. Finally, advice on animal housing considerations, efficient bacterial plating procedures, and overcoming common technical challenges is provided. This protocol aims to provide investigators with a step-by-step guide to execute a technically challenging porcine wound infection model in a reproducible manner. Accordingly, this would allow for the design and evaluation of more effective burn infection therapies leading to better strategies for patient care.
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