Treating bone infections with bioactive glass lowers antibiotic use

Using bioactive glass to treat chronic bone infections can eliminate the need for local antibiotics during the procedure, according to a study recently published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.

Osteomyelitis is a chronic infection, which can result in bone destruction. To treat the condition, clinicians usually perform a two-stage procedure to implant allograft bone into the patient, which requires the use of systemic and local antibiotics.

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To assess the efficacy of using bioactive glass instead of allograft bone, researchers monitored the progress of 116 patients treated for osteomyelitis. Of the 116 patients who underwent procedures with bioactive glass, 104 were treated successfully, representing a 90 percent cure rate. Using bioactive glass to replace the bone structure instead of grafts can limit the procedure to one-stage and eliminate the need for local antibiotics, researchers concluded.

"To overcome the reliance on antibiotics, collaboration is needed on all levels of society," said Fredrik Ollila, PhD, CEO of BonAlive Biomaterials, the manufacturer of the bioactive glass. "In addition to regenerating new bone, bioactive glass is able to inhibit bacterial growth without local antibiotics. This is a significant step forward compared to the conventional treatment."

More articles on infection control: 
Washington mumps outbreak tops 550, spreads to UW 
Study: To reduce spread of multidrug-resistant organisms, decrease antibiotic use 
Brazilian yellow fever outbreak could follow in Zika's footsteps, experts warn

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