Lactic Acid Bacteria Play a Key Role in Accelerated Wound Healing, Says Study

Lactic Acid Bacteria Play a Key Role in Accelerated Wound HealingScientists at Uppsala University, Sweden have found a new technique to accelerate the wound healing process and reduce the chance of infection. The technology and the mode of action method published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) involves using lactic acid bacteria as vectors to produce and deliver a human chemokine (CXCL12) on site in the wounds. This study group is the first to develop the concept for topical use and the technology could turn out to be groundbreaking to the field of biologic drugs. The researchers tested the newly developed technology on healthy mice as well as in mice with two models of diabetes, one model of peripheral ischemia and in a model using human skin biopsies to find out the effectiveness of the technology. There were clear differences in the composition of immune cells in the wounds and the immune cells present produced higher levels of TGFß (Transforming Growth Factor Beta) at earlier time points.

Treatment of large and chronic wounds is an expensive burden to the healthcare system, as effective tools to speed up healing are lacking. In most hospital settings today, the daily clinical routine for wound care involves mechanical debridement, use of different dressings and significant amounts of antibiotics for preventing or treating wound infections. Nurses or clinical staff team members typically assess a wound upon admission and document it accurately. Details of the dressing changes (if the dressing is not being changed an assessment of the dressing and the skin around the dressing should be documented), medications administered as well as debridement are documented for more coordinated, efficient care. Woundcare EHR helps healthcare providers document the wound accurately and this will help reduce medical errors.

With the aging population, chronic diseases such as diabetes and the alarming global spread of antibiotic resistance have become increasingly common, and a treatment that kick-starts and accelerates wound healing could bring positive outcomes. There have been many attempts to address the issues of chronic wounds that have failed. Drug candidates at present in late stage clinical trials comprise of growth factors, which are traditional protein-based biological drugs that are very costly, and some trials have been prematurely terminated. The new technique discovered offers hope to treat chronic wounds more effectively.

Mia Phillipson, Professor at the Department of Medical Cell Biology, Division of Integrative Physiology, Uppsala University says, “We have developed a drug candidate, a next-generation biologic medical product, and are now publishing the fantastic results from the preclinical part where wound healing was strongly accelerated in mice.” The new technique speeds up the healing process, due to changes in the microenvironment in the wound, which helps alter the behavior of specific immune cells. The newly discovered technology allows scientists to increase the level of a chemokine, CXCL12, for an adequate time period through continuous delivery directly to the wound surface. The bioavailability of CXCL12 is synergistically raised within the wound as the bacteria produced lactic acid causes a slight pH drop that prevents degradation. Professor Phillipson added that “The chemokine, CXCL12, is endogenously up regulated in injured tissue and by increasing the levels further, more immune cells are recruited and are more specialized to heal the wound, which accelerates the whole process.”

Findings such as the above are a great boon to the healthcare sector ensuring more efficient treatment and positive patient outcomes. Before deciding how a chronic wound should be treated, healthcare providers should evaluate and document it, whenever a patient is admitted to the hospital for treatment. With Wound EMR, healthcare providers can complete the wound documentation tasks in a timely manner.