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Implants induce a new niche for microbiomes

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Although much work is being done to develop new treatments, research and knowledge regarding factors underlying implant‐related microbial colonization leading to infection are less comprehensive. Presence of microorganisms in and around implants clinically characterized as uninfected remains unknown. The objective of this study was to detect and identify bacteria and fungi on implants from various groups of patients with no prior indications of implant related infections. Patient samples (implants and tissue) were collected from five different hospitals in the Capital region of Denmark. By in‐depth microbiological detection methods, we examined the prevalence of bacteria and fungi on 106 clinically uninfected implants from four patient groups (aseptic loosening, healed fractures, craniofacial complications and recently deceased). Of 106 clinically uninfected implants and 39 negative controls investigated, 66% were colonized by bacteria and 40% were colonized by fungi (p < 0.0001 compared to negative controls). A large number of microbes were found to colonize the implants, however, the most prevalent microbes present were not common aetiological agents of implant infections. The findings indicate that implants provide a distinct niche for microbial colonization. These data have broad implications for medical implant recipients, as well as for supporting the idea that the presence of foreign objects in the body alters the human microbiome by providing new colonization niches.
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Keywords: Implants; foreign bodies; microbes; microbiome; non‐pathogenic colonization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2018

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