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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

BRISIGHELLI, G et al. Biofilms associated with bowel necrosis: A newly recognised phenomenon in infants. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.4, pp.345-347. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2016.v106i4.10425.

BACKGROUND: A biofilm is defined as a collection of organisms attached to a surface and surrounded by a matrix OBJECTIVE: To present three cases in which bowel necrosis coexisted with biofilm METHODS: The medical records, bacteriological findings and tissue biopsies from three infants with bowel necrosis who subsequently died from sepsis were analysed. Tissue sent for histological evaluation was prepared for light microscopy. Haematoxylin and eosin (H), Sandiford and Alcian blue/periodic acid Schiff (ABPAS) stains were performed. Tissue samples were ex-waxed for electron microscopy in one case RESULTS: The three patients described all had necrotic bowel at laparotomy, all cultured Klebsiella pneumoniae from peritoneal pus swabs, and all died despite appropriate antibiotics. All specimens showed varying degrees of bowel necrosis and an organising acute peritoneal reaction. In addition, all showed colonies of Gram-negative bacteria within a mucopolysaccharide matrix CONCLUSIONS: The identification of biofilms in necrotic bowel has raised questions regarding their clinical implications. Further studies are needed to evaluate all resected necrotic bowel for biofilms and the clinical implications of this finding

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