When certain receptors are compromised, a specific bacterium on the skin can delay wound healing.

If a wound is properly cleaned and covered, the chances are quite high that it will heal properly. An infected wound will appear swollen, may have drainage of a cloudy or unpleasant color, and the surrounding skin may feel hot to the touch, according to Wound Source. The patient’s fever could skyrocket to over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and this person must seek medical attention from a clinician as soon as possible. When wound care guidelines are appropriately followed, the chance of infection diminishes, yet scientists at the University of Manchester have determined bacterium, which is already present on the skin in many individuals, may slow the wound healing process.

New discovery may explain why some wounds become infected

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and associated strains, will prevent wound healing if receptors on the skin are damaged, according to the University of Manchester, which is where the study was conducted. If these receptors are damaged, they are unable to determine if this bacteria is present. In other words, the natural bacteria present on the skin becomes imbalanced when the harmful strain takes over.

The study, Cutaneous Nod2 Expression Regulates the Skin Microbiome and Wound Healing in a Murine Model, was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The receptor, NOD2, plays an important role in healing, and in the study, the research team looked at mice lacking in this attribute. These mice demonstrated impaired healing processes because the NOD2 molecules helped hold the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria at bay, keeping a stable environment. Without it, the bacteria essentially would dominate and cause infection.

“Many people are struggling with wounds that heal poorly but this new study suggests that the types of bacteria present may be responsible for our failure to heal which is important for considering how we manage wound treatment,” said Dr. Sheena Cruickshank, as quoted by the source.

Fast treatment a necessity

If patients fear that they are experiencing a wound infection, they should seek advice from a clinician as soon as they are able. Complications with healing can be prevented, as long as the individual in question follows the clinician’s care directions and asks for assistance if something seems amiss.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.