Biofilms are a problem commonly seen in orthopedic infections in horses. Biofilms are bacteria growing together, enmeshed in a sticky, protective substance they produce.This creates a barrier to antibiotics, improving bacteria survival. Biofilms also can trigger an inflammatory response that further damages tissues. Stem cells can kill free-floating bacteria and reduce inflammation, but their ability to reduce biofilms or associated inflammation is unknown. Researchers will use a bench-top model to determine if stem cells derived from horse bone marrow can directly reduce or improve antibiotic activity against biofilms and resulting inflammation. If successful, stem cells could be used as a novel therapy to improve infection resolution in horses, including orthopedic infections affecting joints or associated with orthopedic implants.
Grant amount awarded
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Sarah Khatibzadeh, DVM