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Combating implant infections: remarks by a women's team.

Arciola, Carla R. and Balaban, Naomi and Baldassarri, Lucilla and Fromm, Katharina and Hansch, Gertrud M. and Obst, Ursula and Presterl, Elisabeth and Stefani, Stefania and Verran, Joanna and Visai, Livia (2008) Combating implant infections: remarks by a women's team. International journal of artificial organs, 31 (9). pp. 858-64. ISSN 0391-3988

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Abstract

Research on implant infections requires cooperative efforts and integration between basic and clinical expertises. An international group of women scientists is acting together in this field. The main research topics of the participants of this group are described. Formation of bacterial biofilms, antibiotic resistance and production of virulence factors like adhesins and toxins are investigated. New biomaterials, coatings and drugs designed to inhibit microbial adhesion are evaluated, and infection-resistant biomaterials are under study, such as a novel heparinizable polycarbonate-urethane (Bionate) or incorporation of diamino-diamide-diol (PIME) to reduce bacterial attachment. The correlation between biofilm production and the accessory-gene-regulator (agr) is investigated in Staphylococcus aureus. The ability to form biofilm has also been shown to be one of the important virulence factors of Enterococcus faecalis, favouring colonization of inert and biological surfaces. The study of quorum sensing has led to the discovery of a quorum sensing inhibitor termed RIP that suppresses staphylococcal biofilm and infections. The immune response and the local defence mechanisms of the host against implant-associated infections, activation and infiltration of immunocompetent cells into the sites of infection have been studied in patients with implant-associated osteomyelitis. Production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as possible vaccines against the staphylococcal collagen-binding MSCRAMMs is in progress.

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