Elucidating the etiology of fracture-related infections and developing interventions

Combined efforts under the umbrella of the AO Trauma Clinical Priority Program to improve patient care

19 November 2019

CPP Bone Infection Vienna, S Kates
Prof Stephen Kates, Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, US, makes the opening presentation.

Vienna, Austria, was the site of the eighth meeting of the AO Trauma Clinical Priority Program (CPP) Bone Infection on Saturday, September 21.

The aim of the CPP Bone Infection is to achieve a better understanding of bone infections, provide solutions for this very pressing clinical problem, and make a positive impact on patient care. The CPP Bone Infection is led by Prof Stephen Kates, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, United States, and Prof Edward Schwarz, University of Rochester, New York, United States.

Fracture-related infections (FRI) are important complications that can lead to an increase in morbidity, mortality, and economic costs. The risk of a FRI increases dramatically for open fractures, with an estimated 27 percent incidence in civilians, and 40 percent in war injuries. Despite best current practice, bone infections have not been eradicated. Moreover, the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens represents a major challenge that threatens established standards of care.

The pillars of the CPP Bone Infection

  • Microbial pathogenesis: Staphylococcus aureus colonization of canaliculi during bone infection and development of novel antibiotics to prevent and treat chronic infection
  • Osteoimmunology: elucidation of protective versus susceptible host responses to pathogens towards novel diagnostics, prognostics, and vaccines
  • Diagnosis: diagnosis of FRI at the intersection of biofilm proteome and microbiome
  • Prevention: surgical site prevention program
  • Treatment: high-energy focused extracorporeal shockwave as supplemental treatment in infection after fracture fixation in rabbits
  • Education: educational activities for prevention of infection

Prof Gang Li of the department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, joined as an invited guest, in the spirit of increasing exchange of knowledge and collaboration with Chinese hospitals.

"AO Trauma’s CPP has the potential to change the way clinicians think about bone infection, with projects aimed specifically at prevention, diagnosis, treatment, documentation, and education," Kates explained.

"It is very important to see the participation of the new generation of young clinicians and scientists," Schwarz said, "They are the ones who will carry on those projects and implement the new interventions."

Institutions involved in the eighth CPP Bone Infection meeting:

AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation, Davos, CH
AO CMF, Davos, CH
AO Research Institute Davos, Davos, CH
AO Trauma, Davos, CH
AO Trauma Research Committee
DePuy Synthes
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, DE
University Leuven, Leuven, BE
University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, DE
University Hospital Basel, Basel, CH
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
University of Göttingen, Göttingen, DE
University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, US
University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, US
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, US

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