The skin is colonised by a diverse milieu of microorganisms, most of which are beneficial to the host. Colonisation is highly variable depending on location, host factors and environmental factors. (Grice & Segre, 2011) The literature suggests that human skin commensals differ according to location on the human body. (Findley et al, 2013).
Human feet, in a modern setting, represent a unique environment for the proliferation of potentially pathogenic commensals. (Cohen et al, 2005) Covering the foot with a piece of material could increase and change skin microflora (Eardley, Watts & Clasper, 2012). Patients with foot wounds are required to keep dressings in place and dry for lengthy periods of time and when considering the increased incidence of disorders such as diabetes in the UK population and the resultant complications associated with feet, (Diabetes UK, 2012),
it is necessary to elucidate how the application of a specific wound dressing may alter the resident commensals of human feet under the dressing, over a period of time. Other studies have identified changes in the bio-burden of wounds under dressings, (Mertz & Eaglstein, 1984), however, Grice & Segre (2011) report that there needs to be enhanced understanding of the skin commensal changes in order to improve the therapeutic approaches for their treatment. This research is to elucidate how the application of a wound dressing alters the already present bacteria/fungi of healthy skin. Providing an understanding of how dressing applications may change normal bacterial and fungal colonization.
Funding – This project is funded by the University of Brighton