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Medicine and infectious disease

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Given that burns, cuts, blisters, abrasions, and lesions will probably not remain sterile, and that the purpose of antibiotics and fungicidal creams would be to try to kill or slow down reproduction of pathogenic organisms, how come there is no way to inoculate burns and wounds with a harmless bacteria, fungus, or some benign stew of harmless critters in order to displace pathogenic organisms who might otherwise infect and occupy that environmental niche?

Surely even the most carefully tended cuts are immediately colonized by some kind of tiny critters. It's not like it is a question of IF something will infect us. It's a matter of WHAT will grow there. 

It seems to me that it makes more sense to make an intelligent decision as to what will grow there instead of letting nature take it's course and risk a bad infection. There must be some optimal mixture of harmless life forms that can be used for all cuts and burns.

Filling the niche that would otherwise be filled by infectious organisms (instead of introducing some sort of antibiotic), if they displace pathogenic critters from moving in while it is healing,  preempts any sort of problem with propagating new resistant varieties of infectious organisms that occur. This should be the first line of defense from infection, not antibiotics. With fewer antibiotics being used, they will not become useless from resistant pathogens quite so fast, the the useful life of each new antibiotic will be extended.

I wonder if anyone is developing such a benign mixture of microorganisms that can be applied to cuts and wounds?

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2/14/03:
I've had this webpage up for about a month or so, and along comes a news article suggesting the presence of certain viruses might help to fight AIDS! Indeed the interactions between organisms are unpredictably complex. Yet is there any particular branch of medicine that studies what I am suggesting here?

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11/25/06:
I see there is a science of Probiotics, but it seems to only apply to gastrointestinal flora, not to cuts and lesions. I suspect there is little commercial incentive to use something like a benign culture of harmless fungus or bacteria to inoculate cuts and lesions or any dead skin area in order to establish a harmless colony of microorganisms which will use up the resources in a manner that precludes pathogenic organisms ever taking hold.

It's a shame, because if this worked, there'd be much less occasion to use antibiotics, and fewer resistant strains of microorganisms would exist, so the antibiotics we do have would be used less frequently and work better when they are used.

 

See:

Virus May Block HIV's Destructive Power

inoculate cuts with bacteria to displace infection