Diabetic foot infection: A critical complication

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The number of people in the world with diabetes has nearly quadrupled in the past 40years. Current data show that 25% of these diabetics will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime and that the cost of care for a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is over twice that of any other chronic ulcer aetiology. Microbial biofilm has been linked to both wound chronicity and infection. Close to 1 in 2 diabetics with a DFU are predicted to go on to develop a diabetic foot infection (DFI). The majority of these DFIs have been found to evolve even before the diabetic individual has received an initial referral for expert DFU management. Of these infected DFUs, less than half have been shown to heal over the next year; many of these individuals will require costly hospitalisation, and current data show that far too many DFIs will require extremity amputation to achieve infection resolution. The development of an infection in a DFU is critical at least in part because paradigms of infection prevention and management are evolving. The effectiveness of our current practice standards is being challenged by a growing body of research related to the prevalence and recalcitrance of the microbes in biofilm to topical and systemic antimicrobials. This article will review the magnitude of current challenges related to DFI prevention and management along with what is currently considered to be standard of care. These ideas will be compared and contrasted with what is known about the biofilm phenotype; then, considerations to support progress towards the development of more cost-effective protocols of care are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational wound journal
Early online date28 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Antimicrobials
  • Biofilm
  • Diabetic
  • Foot
  • Infection

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