, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 81–85 | Cite as

The effects of an occlusive zinc medicated dressing on the bacterial flora in excised wounds in the rat

  • T. Söderberg
  • G. Hallmans
  • M. Ågren
  • I. Tengrup
  • G. Banck


The effects of three different dressings — two occlusive and one non-occlusive — on the bacterial flora of excised wounds in rats were studied. The number of colony forming units per gram of granulation tissue were significantly lower 4, 8 and 12 days postoperatively in wounds treated with a zinc medicated occlusive dressing compared with wounds treated with non-zinc medicated occlusive hydrocolloid dressing or wet-to-dry non-occlusive gauze dressing. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of zinc sulphate was determined on different strains of bacteria isolated from the wounds of rats and on strains isolated from humans. The most susceptible species isolated from both rat wounds and humans wereStreptococcus sp.,Staphylococcus aureus andEscherichia coli; whereas,Proteus andEnterococcus sp. had higher MIC-values.In vitro, the hydrocolloid dressing disclosed no antibacterial effects. If the practitioner prefers an occlusive dressing we believe, due to our animal andin vitro experiments, that the zinc medicated occlusive dressing will reduce the risk of wound infection in man.

Wirkung eines zinkhaltigen okklusiven Wundverbandes auf die bakterielle Besiedelung von Exzisionswunden bei der Ratte


Die Wirkung von zwei verschiedenen Wundverbänden — zwei okklusiven und zwei nicht okklusiven — auf die bakterielle Besiedelung von Exzisionswunden wurde bei der Ratte untersucht. Bei Wunden, die mit einem zinkhaltigen Okklusivverband behandelt worden waren, war die Zahl der Koloniebildner pro Gramm Granulationsgewebe am 4., 8. und 12. postoperativen Tag signifikant geringer als bei Wunden, die mit einem Hydrokolloid-Okklusivverband ohne Zink oder feucht-trockenen Verbänden mit Wundgaze behandelt worden waren. Für verschiedene Bakterien, die aus den Wunden bei Ratten isoliert sowie für Stämme, die aus menschlichem Material angezüchtet worden waren, wurden die minimalen Hemmkonzentrationen von Zinksulfat bestimmt.Streptococcus sp.,Staphylococcus aureus undEscherichia coli von Rattenwunden wie auch die menschlichen Isolate dieser Spezies waren am empfindlichsten,Proteus undEnterococcus sp. wiesen höhere MHK-Werte auf. Der Hydrokolloid-Wundverband zeigtein vitro keinerlei antibakterielle Wirksamkeit. Wenn in der Praxis okklusive Wundverbände angewandt werden, ist nach unserer Erfahrung mit Tierversuchen undIn-vitro-Experimenten das Wundinfektionsrisiko beim Menschen durch Verwendung eines zinkhaltigen Wundverbandes geringer als bei Verbänden ohne Zink.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Winter, G. D. Formation of the scar and the rate of epithelization of superficial wounds in the skin of the young domestic pig. Nature (London) 193 (1962) 293–294.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Söderberg, T., Hallmans, G., Stenström, S., Lobo, D., Pinto, J., Maroof, S., Vellut, C. Treatment of leprosy wounds with adhesive zinc tape. Lepr. Rev. 53 (1982) 271–276.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Söderberg, T., Nyström, Å., Hallmans, G., Hulten, J. Treatment of fingertip amputations with bone exposure. Scand. J. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 17 (1983) 147–152.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alvarez, O. M., Mertz, P. M., Eaglstein, W. H. The effect of occlusive dressings on collagen synthesis and re-epithelialization in superficial wounds. J. Surg. Res. 35 (1983) 142–148.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eriksson, G. Comparison of two occlusive bandages in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Br. J. Dermatol. 114 (1986) 227–230.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Linsky, C. B., Rovee, D. T., Dow, T. Effects of dressings on wound inflammation and scar tissue. In:Dineen, P., Hildick-Smith, G. (eds.) The surgical wound. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia 1981, pp. 191–205.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Katz, S., McGinley, K., Leyden, J. J. Semipermeable occlusive dressings: effects on growth of pathogenic bacteria and reepithelialization of superficial wounds. Arch. Dermatol. 122 (1986) 58–62.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mertz, P. M., Eaglstein, W. H. The effect of a semiocclusive dressing on the microbial population in superficial wounds. Arch. Surg. 119 (1984) 287–289.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hallmans, G., Elmros, T. Zinc tape treatment of burns infected byPseudomonas aeruginosa. Scand. J. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 14 (1980) 221–227.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tengrup, I., Ågren, M. S., Bondeson, L., Forsgren, A., Hallmans, G., Söderberg, T. The effect of zinc and occlusion on the healing of open wounds. In:Mills, C. F., Bremner, I., Chester, J. K. (eds.). Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Trace Elements in Man and Animals-TEMA 5. Slough: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux 1985 pp. 87–89.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hallmans, G. Absorption of topically applied zinc and changes in zinc metabolism during wound healing. Acta Derm. Venereol. 58 (1978) (Suppl. 80) 1–36.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mertz, P. M., Marshall, D. A., Eaglstein, W. H. Occlusive wound dressings to prevent bacterial invasion and wound infection. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 121 (1985) 662–668.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Miller, R. G. Jr. Simultaneous statistical inference. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1966.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Varghese, M. C., Balin, A. K., Carter, M., Caldwell, O. Local environment of chronic wounds under synthetic dressings. Arch. Dermatol. 122 (1986) 52–57.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Madden, M. R., Finkelstein, J. L., Hefton, J. M., Yurt, R. W.: Optimal healing of donor site wounds with hydrocolloid dressings. In:Ryan, T. J. (ed.). An environment for healing: The role of occlusion. The Royal Society of Medicine, 1985, pp. 133–139.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bolton; L., Oleniacz, W., Constantine, B., Kelliher, B. O., Jensen, D., Means, B., Rovee, D. Repair and antibacterial effects of topical antiseptic agentsin vivo. In:Maibach, H. I., Lowe, N. J. (eds.). Models in dermatology, vol. 2, Karger, Basel, 1985, pp. 145–158.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lineaweaver, W., Howard, R., Soucy, D., McMorris, S., Freeman, J., Crain, C., Robertson, J., Rumley, T. Topical antimicrobial toxicity. Arch. Surg. 120 (1985) 267–270.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gruber, R. P., Vistnes, L., Pardoe, R. The effect of commonly used antiseptics on wound healing. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 55 (1975) 472–476.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    McRipley, R. J., Whitney, R. R. Characterization and quantitation of experimental surgical-wound infections used to evaluate topical antibacterial agents. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 10 (1976) 38–44.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Robson, M. C., Heggers, J. P. Surgical infection. I. Single bacterial species or polymicrobic in origin? Surgery 65 (1969) 608–610.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lookingbill, D. P., Miller, S. H., Knowles, R. C. Bacteriology of chronic leg ulcers. Arch. Dermatol. 114 (1978) 1765–1768.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Paetzold, O. H., Wiese, A. Experimentelle Untersuchungen über die antimikrobielle Wirkung von Zinkoxid. Arch. Derm. Res. 253 (1975) 151–159.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kasahara, M.;Anraku, Y. Succinate oxidase and NADH-oxidase systems ofEscherichia coli membrane vesicles mechanism of selective inhibition of sytems by zinc ions. J. Biochem. 76 (1974) 967–976.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Golub, E. E., Cheruka, J., Boosz, B., Davis, C., Malamud, D. A comparison of bacterial aggregation induced by saliva, lysozyme and zinc. Infect. Immun. 48 (1985) 204–210.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© MMV Medizin Verlag GmbH München 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Söderberg
    • 1
  • G. Hallmans
    • 2
  • M. Ågren
    • 3
  • I. Tengrup
    • 4
  • G. Banck
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Hand- and Plastic SurgeryUniversity Hospital of UmeåUmeå
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospital of UmeåUmeå
  3. 3.Department of PathologyFaculty of Health SciencesLinköping
  4. 4.Department of Surgery and Experimental ResearchMalmö General HospitalMalmö
  5. 5.Department of Clinical BacteriologyMalmö General HospitalMalmö

Personalised recommendations