PloS one

Biochemical association of metabolic profile and microbiome in chronic pressure ulcer wounds.

PMID 25978400


Chronic, non-healing wounds contribute significantly to the suffering of patients with co-morbidities in the clinical population with mild to severely compromised immune systems. Normal wound healing proceeds through a well-described process. However, in chronic wounds this process seems to become dysregulated at the transition between resolution of inflammation and re-epithelialization. Bioburden in the form of colonizing bacteria is a major contributor to the delayed headlining in chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers. However how the microbiome influences the wound metabolic landscape is unknown. Here, we have used a Systems Biology approach to determine the biochemical associations between the taxonomic and metabolomic profiles of wounds colonized by bacteria. Pressure ulcer biopsies were harvested from primary chronic wounds and bisected into top and bottom sections prior to analysis of microbiome by pyrosequencing and analysis of metabolome using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Bacterial taxonomy revealed that wounds were colonized predominantly by three main phyla, but differed significantly at the genus level. While taxonomic profiles demonstrated significant variability between wounds, metabolic profiles shared significant similarity based on the depth of the wound biopsy. Biochemical association between taxonomy and metabolic landscape indicated significant wound-to-wound similarity in metabolite enrichment sets and metabolic pathway impacts, especially with regard to amino acid metabolism. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a statistically robust correlation between bacterial colonization and metabolic landscape within the chronic wound environment.