Researchers led by Crystal Jaing from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory examined pathogens present in 124 wound samples obtained from US soldiers injured in combat.
As they report in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, the researchers used microarrays and, for a subset of samples, next-generation sequencing and metagenomic analysis, to peer into what bacteria were common in soldiers' wounds and whether there were any links between the bacteria that were there and the soldiers' outcomes.
"The treatment of infection in these patients requires innovative care," co-senior author Eric Elster, from the Uniformed Services University tells the Los Angeles Times. "Studies such as this one will allow us to better understand the interaction between the body and pathogens, and develop new treatment strategies."
The researchers found that Acinetobacter baumannii were common in the wound samples, as were a number of Pseudomonas species. Additionally, they linked the presence of the Acinetobacter plasmid pRAY with wound failure and enteric-associated bacteria with successful healing.