4 October 2017

Wound Expert Panel* reports biofilms, which delay wound healing, are far more prevalent than previously understood, and publishes new consensus on detection and treatment best practice

Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), the global medical technology business, welcomes the recent publication of the Wound Biofilm Expert Panel’s  Consensus guidelines for the identification and treatment of biofilms in chronic non-healing wounds.1 This paper is one of the first comprehensive insights into the  detection and treatment of wound biofilm.

Biofilms are clusters of bacteria embedded in a protective matrix, 2 their presence in chronic wounds are linked to delayed healing.3,4 Moreover, biofilms provide a complex treatment challenge to wound care clinicians as they are tolerant to antimicrobial treatments5–7 and the host immune response.8,9

At least 78% of chronic wounds have been found to contain biofilm,10 a figure far in excess of previously understood levels. 

The Expert Panel was formed in late 2015 to improve scientific understanding of biofilms and to recommend improved clinical practice.  Comprising of ten global leading experts from both scientific and clinical backgrounds, the Expert Panel’s Consensus guidelines for the identification and treatment of biofilms in chronic non-healing wounds have now been published in the eminent journal Wound Repair and Regeneration journal.

Professor Gregory Schultz, Director of the Institute for Wound Research at the University of Florida and Chair of the panel commented: “Although four in five chronic wounds contain biofilm, they are often not identified, resulting in ineffective treatment. This document will have a tremendous impact helping both researchers and clinicians better understand biofilms, how to treat them and how to convert chronic wounds to healing wounds.”

“Biofilm is a hot topic in wound care, there was a need for a consensus to bring clarity and guidance to healthcare professionals working to restore the quality of life of millions of patients around the world with non-healing chronic wounds,” said Andy Weymann, Chief Medical Officer of Smith & Nephew. “Smith & Nephew is proud to support healthcare professionals through the development of both educational resources and advanced wound management products.”

Recent data have shown IODOSORB™ and IODOFLEX™ dressings from Smith & Nephew, to be effective against biofilm in the laboratory,5, 11-13 and in the clinical setting to have an impact on biofilm in diabetic foot ulcers.14 Cadexomer Iodine has long been demonstrated, at the highest level of evidence, to be an effective treatment in chronic wounds. 15   

*funded by an educational grant from Smith & Nephew



Dave Snyder
Smith & Nephew
+1 (978) 749-1440

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping healthcare professionals improve people's lives. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has around 15,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2016 were almost $4.7 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit our website www.smith-nephew.com, follow @SmithNephewplc on Twitter or visit SmithNephewplc on Facebook.com.

To learn more about what we do to help reduce biofilm, please visit www.closertozero.com

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1. Schultz et al. Wound Repair Regen (2017); accepted article 
2. Burmølle, M. et al. FEMS Immunol. Med. Microbiol. 59,(2010);
3. Roche ED, et al. Wound Repair Regen 2012; 20: 537–43.
4. Schierle CF, et al. Wound Repair Regen. 2009;17: 354–9.
5. Phillips PL et al. Int Wounds J (2013):1-15;
6. Stewart, P. S. & Costerton, J. W.) 358, 135–8 (2001).
7. Wolcott, R. D. et al. J. Wound Care 19, 320–8 (2010).
8. Jesaitis, A. J. et al. J. Immunol. 171, 4329–39 (2003).
9. Bjarnsholt, T. et al. Microbiology 151, 373–383 (2005).
10.Malone, M. et al. J. Wound Care 26, 20–25 (2017).
11.Fitzgerald, D. J. et al. Wound Repair Regen. 1–40 (2016). doi:10.1111/wrr.12497
12. Schultz, G. & Yang. Poster presented at WUWHS Florence (2016)
13. Oates J.L. et al. Poster presented at SAWC, Atlanta.(2016);
14. Lantis, J. C. et al. Poster presented at WUWHS Florence  (2016).
15. O’Meara, S. et al.. Cochrane database Syst. Rev. 1, CD003557 (2014).