Macroscale spatial variation in chronic wound microbiota: A cross-sectional study

Lance B. Price, Cindy M. Liu, Yelena M. Frankel, Johan H. Melendez, Maliha Aziz, Jordan Buchhagen, Tania Contente-Cuomo, David M. Engelthaler, Paul S. Keim, Jacques Ravel, Gerald S. Lazarus, Jonathan M. Zenilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Controlling for sample site is considered to be an important aspect of chronic wound microbiological investigations; yet, macroscale spatial variation in wound microbiota has not been well characterized. A total of 31 curette samples were collected at the leading edge, opposing leading edge, and/or center of 13 chronic wounds. Bacterial community composition was characterized using a combination of 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing; heat map display; hierarchical clustering; nonmetric multidimensional scaling; and permutation multivariate analysis of variance. A total of 58 bacterial families and 91 bacterial genera were characterized among the 13 wounds. While substantial macroscale spatial variation was observed among the wounds, bacterial communities at different sites within individual wounds were significantly more similar than those in different wounds (p=0.001). Our results support the prevalent opinion that controlling for sample site may improve the quality of wound microbiota studies; however, the significant similarity in bacterial communities from different sites within individual wounds indicates that studies failing to control for sampling site should not be disregarded based solely on this criterion. A composite sample from multiple sites across the surface of individual wounds may provide the most robust characterization of wound microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Macroscale spatial variation in chronic wound microbiota: A cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this