Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Clinical identification of bacteria in human chronic wound infections: Culturing vs. 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing

Rhoads, DD and Cox, SB and Rees, EJ and Sun, Y and Wolcott, RD (2012) Clinical identification of bacteria in human chronic wound infections: Culturing vs. 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. BMC Infectious Diseases, 12.

Published Version
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (787kB) | Preview
[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


Background: Chronic wounds affect millions of people and cost billions of dollars in the United States each year. These wounds harbor polymicrobial biofilm communities, which can be difficult to elucidate using culturing methods. Clinical molecular microbiological methods are increasingly being employed to investigate the microbiota of chronic infections, including wounds, as part of standard patient care. However, molecular testing is more sensitive than culturing, which results in markedly different results being reported to clinicians. This study compares the results of aerobic culturing and molecular testing (culture-free 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing), and it examines the relative abundance score that is generated by the molecular test and the usefulness of the relative abundance score in predicting the likelihood that the same organism would be detected by culture.Methods: Parallel samples from 51 chronic wounds were studied using aerobic culturing and 16S DNA sequencing for the identification of bacteria.Results: One hundred forty-five (145) unique genera were identified using molecular methods, and 68 of these genera were aerotolerant. Fourteen (14) unique genera were identified using aerobic culture methods. One-third (31/92) of the cultures were determined to be < 1% of the relative abundance of the wound microbiota using molecular testing. At the genus level, molecular testing identified 85% (78/92) of the bacteria that were identified by culture. Conversely, culturing detected 15.7% (78/497) of the aerotolerant bacteria and detected 54.9% of the collective aerotolerant relative abundance of the samples. Aerotolerant bacterial genera (and individual species including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis) with higher relative abundance scores were more likely to be detected by culture as demonstrated with regression modeling.Conclusion: Discordance between molecular and culture testing is often observed. However, culture-free 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing and its relative abundance score can provide clinicians with insight into which bacteria are most abundant in a sample and which are most likely to be detected by culture. © 2012 Rhoads et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rhoads, DD
Cox, SB
Rees, EJ
Sun, Y
Wolcott, RD
Date: 24 November 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Infectious Diseases
Volume: 12
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/1471-2334-12-321
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Pathology
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 18:38
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2019 15:56


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item