Topography of Distinct Staphylococcus aureus Types in Chronic Wounds of Patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa

Magdalena M. van der Kooi-Pol, Mehdi Sadaghian Sadabad, Jose C. Duipmans, Artur J. Sabat, Tim Stobernack, Till F. Omansen, Gerlinde N. Westerhout-Pluister, Marcel F. Jonkman, Hermie J. M. Harmsen, Jan Maarten van Dijl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is known to interfere with wound healing and represents a significant risk factor for wound infections and invasive disease. It is generally assumed that one individual is predominantly colonized by one S. aureus type. Nevertheless, patients with the genetic blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa (EB) often carry multiple S. aureus types. We therefore investigated whether different S. aureus types are present in individual wounds of EB patients and, if so, how they are spatially distributed. The staphylococcal topography in chronic wounds was mapped by replica-plating of used bandages and subsequent typing of S. aureus isolates. Individual chronic wounds of five patients contained up to six different S. aureus types. Unexpectedly, distinct S. aureus types formed micro-colonies that were located in close proximity and sometimes even overlapped. While some adjacent S. aureus isolates were closely related, others belonged to distinct molecular complexes. We conclude that the general assumption that one individual is predominantly colonized by one type of S. aureus does not apply to chronic wounds of EB patients. We consider this observation important, not only for EB patients, but also for other patients with chronic wounds in view of the potential risk for severe staphylococcal infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere67272
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25-Jun-2013



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