Chronic wounds are a growing medical problem that cause high rates of morbidity and mortality, costing the healthcare industry in the United States millions of dollars annually. Chronic wound healing is hampered by the presence of bacterial infections that form biofilms, in which the bacteria are encased in exopolysaccharide (EPS) and are less metabolically active than their free-living counterparts. Bacterial biofilms make chronic wounds more refractory to treatment and slow tissue repair by stimulating chronic inflammation at the wound site. Bacterial species communicate through a mechanism known as quorum sensing (QS) to regulate and coordinate the gene expression that is important for virulence-factor production, including biofilm formation. This review focuses on the relationships between chronic wounds, biofilms, and QS in the virulence of chronic-wound pathogens.
- Chronic wounds
- Quorum sensing