No conflicts of interest were declared.
The microbiome in wound repair and tissue fibrosis
Article first published online: 29 NOV 2012
Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The Journal of Pathology
Volume 229, Issue 2, pages 323–331, January 2013
How to Cite
Scales, B. S. and Huffnagle, G. B. (2013), The microbiome in wound repair and tissue fibrosis. J. Pathol., 229: 323–331. doi: 10.1002/path.4118
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 29 NOV 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 5 OCT 2012 08:52AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 22 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 7 AUG 2012
- gastrointestinal tract
Bacterial colonization occurs in all wounds, chronic or acute, and the break in epithelium integrity that defines a wound impairs the forces that shape and constrain the microbiome at that site. This review highlights the interactions between bacterial communities in the wound and the ultimate resolution of the wound or development of fibrotic lesions. Chronic wounds support complex microbial communities comprising a wide variety of bacterial phyla, genera, and species, including some fastidious anaerobic bacteria not identified using culture-based methods. Thus, the complexity of bacterial communities in wounds has historically been underestimated. There are a number of intriguing possibilities to explain these results that may also provide novel insights into changes and adaptation of bacterial metabolic networks in inflamed and wounded mucosa, including the critical role of biofilm formation. It is well accepted that the heightened state of activation of host cells in a wound that is driven by the microbiota can certainly lead to detrimental effects on wound regeneration, but the microbiota of the wound may also have beneficial effects on wound healing. Studies in experimental systems have clearly demonstrated a beneficial effect for members of the gut microbiota on regulation of systemic inflammation, which could also impact wound healing at sites outside the gastrointestinal tract. The utilization of culture-independent microbiology to characterize the microbiome of wounds and surrounding mucosa has raised many intriguing questions regarding previously held notions about the cause and effect relationships between bacterial colonization and wound repair and mechanisms involved in this symbiotic relationship.