Post-Colic-Surgery Infections Unrelated to Incision Site Bacteria

Surgical site infection risk had little to do with the amount or kind of bacteria present at the incision before, during, or after surgery, researchers found.
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post-colic-surgery infections
Surgical site infection risk had little to do with the amount or kind of bacteria present at the incision before, during, or after surgery, researchers found. | Photo: Phito: Courtesy Dr. Tina Holberg Phil

Horses undergoing colic surgery, as with any medical procedure, run the risk of developing bacterial infection along the incision line. But, in a recent study, researchers in Britain were surprised to find that the risk of post-colic-surgery infections had little to do with the amount or kind of bacteria present at the incision before, during, or immediately after surgery.

“The development of surgical site infection (SSI) is multifactorial and not just as simple as a direct link to the bacteria present around the time of surgery,” said Cajsa Isgren, BVetMed, Dip. ECVS MRCVS, an equine surgeon at the University of Liverpool Equine Hospital, in the U.K.

“Our research highlights this,” she said, underlining the fact that the amount of bacteria cultured during and just after surgery had no bearing on the risk of development of SSI “and in the horses that did develop an infection, in all cases it was a different bacteria from the one cultured at the time of surgery

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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