Background: Chronic wounds are commonly associated with polymicrobial biofilm infections. In the last years, the extensive use of antibiotics has generated several antibiotic-resistant variants. To overcome this issue, alternative natural treatments have been proposed, including the use of microorganisms like probiotics. The aim of this manuscript was to review current literature concerning the application of probiotics for the treatment of infected chronic wounds.
Methods: Relevant articles were searched in the Medline database using PubMed and Scholar, using the keywords “probiotics” and “wound” and “injuries”, “probiotics” and “wound” and “ulcer”, “biofilm” and “probiotics” and “wound”, “biofilm” and “ulcer” and “probiotics”, “biofilm” and “ulcer” and “probiotics”, “probiotics” and “wound”.
Results: The research initially included 253 articles. After removal of duplicate studies, and selection according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, 19 research articles were included and reviewed, accounting for 12 in vitro, 8 in vivo studies and 2 human studies (three articles dealing with animal experiments included also in vitro testing). Most of the published studies about the effects of probiotics for the treatment of infected chronic wounds reported a partial inhibition of microbial growth, biofilm formation and quorum sensing.
Discussion: The application of probiotics represents an intriguing option in the treatment of infected chronic wounds with multidrug-resistant bacteria; however, current results are difficult to compare due to the heterogeneity in methodology, laboratory techniques, and applied clinical protocols. Lactobacillus plantarum currently represents the most studied strain, showing a positive application in burns compared to guideline treatments, and an additional mean in chronic wound infections.
Conclusions: Although preliminary evidence supports the use of specific strains of probiotics in certain clinical settings such as infected chronic wounds, large, long-term clinical trials are still lacking, and further research is needed.
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