Overview of the etiology of wound infections with particular emphasis on community-acquired illnesses

Microbial Diseases Laboratory, Division of Communicable Disease Control, California Department of Health Services, Berkeley 94704, USA.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.67). 04/1997; 16(3):189-201. DOI: 10.1007/BF01709581
Source: PubMed


Wound cultures represent a general catchall category for a group of extremely diverse anatomic samples that range from superficial specimens of cutaneous structures (folliculitis, cellulitis) to specimens revealing invasive infections involving deep fascial planes and muscle (myonecrosis). Because of the complex nature of these infective processes, the terminology associated with such infections is often imprecise and confusing. Wounds are the result of trauma, either intentionally or accidentally induced. Nosocomial wound infections result primarily from surgical procedures, the development of pressure sores, or catheterization. Community-acquired wound infections are often preceded by injuries resulting from occupational exposure or recreational activities and are associated with a greater diversity of microorganisms due to the exposure of open wounds to inhabitants of the microbial biosphere. This review provides a general overview of the categories of wound infections and describes their acquisition and clinical significance. Particular emphasis is placed on selected community-acquired wound infections and the etiologic agents associated with such conditions.

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