Direct Identification of Bacterial and Human Proteins from Infected Wounds in Living 3D Skin Models
University of Birmingham
Trauma is one of the leading causes of death in people under the age of 49 and complications due to wound infection are the primary cause of death in the first few days after injury. The ESKAPE pathogens are a group of bacteria that are a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections and a major concern in terms of antibiotic resistance. Here, we demonstrate a novel and highly accurate approach for the rapid identification of ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter spp.) directly from infected wounds in 3D in vitro skin models. Wounded skin models were inoculated with bacteria and left to incubate. Bacterial proteins were identified within minutes, directly from the wound, by liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry. This approach was able to distinguish closely related strains and, unlike genomic approaches, can be modified to provide dynamic information about pathogen behaviour at the wound site. In addition, since human skin proteins were also identified, this method offers the opportunity to analyse both host and pathogen biomarkers during wound infection in near real-time.