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March 1953

MICROBIOLOGIC FLORA OF CHRONIC CUTANEOUS ULCERS: In Vitro Sensitivity of Microbiologic Flora to Three Antibiotics, Penicillin, Streptomycin, and Bacitracin

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Hines, Ill., and the Departments of Bacteriology and Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(3):283-291. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030298003

THE MICROBIOLOGIC flora of chronic cutaneous ulcers is variable, depending upon the initiating cause of the ulcer and its anatomical location and upon the environment and treatment of the patient. Bacterial infection alone infrequently is responsible for cutaneous ulcers, but once the skin is broken by trauma, trophic changes, or pressure necrosis, an entrance and a fertile medium is provided for bacteria from the environment. By exaggerating necrosis, extending the lesion, and complicating closure, infection adds to the severity and chronicity of cutaneous ulcers.

It is well known that a mixed flora is characteristic of open lesions. The frequency and patterns of occurrence of particular bacterial strains, however, has gained new importance with the availability of antibiotics. A large number of agents which effectively, but quite specifically, inhibit the growth of certain bacteria are available. Topical administration broadens the number of antibiotics and increases the concentrations of these agents which

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