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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X


MARAIS, LC; FERREIRA, N; ALDOUS, C  and  LE ROUX, TLB. The pathophysiology of chronic osteomyelitis. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2013, vol.12, n.4, pp.14-18. ISSN 2309-8309.

Chronic osteomyelitis is a biofilm-based infection of bone where the majority of causative microorganisms are sessile in nature, rendering them less sensitive to systemic antibiotic agents and making routine culture techniques unreliable. Biofilms are the characteristic growth pattern for most bacteria and are now understood to consist of interactive communities with the ability to alter their gene expression in order to ensure survival. Our knowledge of the host's response to infection is also rapidly expanding. The discovery that osteoclastic and osteoblastic cells play a central role in the immune response of bone has resulted in a better understanding of osteo-immunology. This expansion of knowledge has created new opportunities in terms of the development of novel treatment strategies in the management of chronic osteomyelitis and periprosthetic infections.

Keywords : osteomyelitis; chronic; pathogenesis; osteo-immunology; biofilm.

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