Table of Contents
Volume 2013, Article ID 487024, 7 pages
Research Article

Chronic Wounds, Biofilms and Use of Medicinal Larvae

1Research Service, Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center (151B), North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, 1601 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
2Department of Adult and Elderly Nursing, College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
3Institute for Wound Research, University of Florida, Room M337F, 1600 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610-0424, USA
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute for Wound Research, University of Florida, Room M337F, 1600 South West Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610-0294, USA

Received 10 October 2012; Accepted 10 December 2012

Academic Editor: Pranab K. Das

Copyright © 2013 Linda J. Cowan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic wounds are a significant health problem in the United States, with annual associated costs exceeding $20 billion annually. Traditional wound care consists of surgical debridement, manual irrigation, moisture retentive dressings, and topical and/or systemic antimicrobial therapy. However, despite progress in the science of wound healing, the prevalence and incidence of chronic wounds and their complications are escalating. The presence & complexity of bacterial biofilms in chronic wounds has recently been recognized as a key aspect of non-healing wounds. Bacterial biofilms are sessile colonies of polymicrobial organisms (bacteria, fungus, etc.) enclosed within a self-produced exopolymeric matrix that provides high levels of tolerance to host defenses, antibiotics and antiseptics. Thus, there is a need for alternative therapies to reduce biofilms in chronic wounds. In this report, we present initial findings from in vitro experiments which show that larval debridement therapy with disinfected blow fly larvae (Phaenicia sericata) reduced total CFUs (6-logs) of planktonic and mature biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus grown on dermal pig skin explants by 5-logs after 24 hours of exposure, and eliminated biofilms (no measurable CFUs) after 48 hours of exposure.