Evidence of bacterial biofilms within acute wounds: a systematic review

Bethany L. Patenall, Joanne D. Ridgley, A. Toby A. Jenkins, Amber E. Young

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

5 Citations (SciVal)


OBJECTIVE: The prevalence and role of biofilm formation in acute wounds has seldom been investigated. Understanding the presence of biofilm in acute wounds would allow earlier, biofilm-targeted management, thus decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with wound infection, improving patient experience and potentially reducing healthcare costs. The purpose of this study was to summarise the evidence for biofilm formation within acute wounds. METHOD: We conducted a systematic literature review for studies which reported evidence of bacterial biofilm formation in acute wounds. An electronic search of four databases was carried out, without restrictions on date. The search terms included 'bacteria', 'biofilm', 'acute' and 'wound'. RESULTS: A total of 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Of the studies, 69.2% showed evidence of biofilm formation within 14 days of acute wound formation, with 38.5% showing evidence of biofilm 48 hours after wound formed. CONCLUSION: The evidence from this review suggests that biofilm formation plays a greater role within acute wounds than previously considered.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationJournal of wound care
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
B Patenall would like to acknowledge the support of the James Tudor Foundation and Mr & Mrs A Watson. ATA Jenkins would like to acknowledge the UK EPSRC grant reference: EP/V00462X/1 and EP/R003939/1.


  • acute wound
  • antibiotic resistance
  • bacteria
  • biofilm
  • burn
  • infection
  • surgical wound
  • trauma
  • wound
  • wound care
  • wound dressing
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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