The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the transfer of viable Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm microorganisms following treatment with debridement tools.


The level of viable biofilm microorganisms transferred by debridement tools was compared following treatment that reflected the clinical practice of each product.


A significant level of microorganism transfer was seen in response to the mechanical debridement tool. Minimal transfer of microorganisms was seen when in vitro-established biofilms were treated with hydroresponsive wound dressing + polyhexamethylene biguanide (HRWD+PHMB, HydroClean plus). Less Pseudomonas aeruginosa was recovered from explants exposed to dressings compared with those exposed to debridement tools suggesting that there was less transfer of bacteria by dressings.


The reduced transfer of viable microorganisms by HRWD+PHMB may be the result of significant binding and retention of microbes by the superabsorbent polymer within the dressing, together with enhanced sequestered bacterial killing within the dressing by polymer-bound PHMB. The high levels of microbial transfer/transmission seen for debridement tools suggests that, in the clinical setting, a significant level of bacterial spread over the wound surface and/or surrounding skin by these cleansing tools is likely.

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