Analysing the microbiome of diabetic foot ulcers

Eleanor Townsend, Karen Smith, Gordon Mackay, Gordon Ramage, Craig Williams, Andrew Collier, John Butcher

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The role of infection in the recurrence and chronicity of DFUs is not well characterised, but is recognised as an important determinant.
This study aims to characterise the microbiome in DFUs to determine whether or not key bacterial genera are consistently represented or not.Methods: DFUs of 16 patients with type II diabetes attending a Diabetic Clinic at Ayr Hospital were swabbed. DNA from the swabs was extracted using a combination of bead beating and QIAmp mini DNA kit (Qiagen), then Next Generation Sequencing Illumina MiSeq) of the hypervariable V4 region of 16S rRNA was performed.
216 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified in the sample set, with an mean of 42 per sample(range 20 to 86). Of these, anaerobes (55%) dominated, followed by facultative anaerobes (42%) and aerobes (3%), which came from a variety of sources (environmental, skin commensals and pathogens). The most common bacterium identified was the anaerobe Finegoldia magna, with Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and Anaerococcus species also isolated.
The microbiome of DFUs is heterogeneous and dominated by anaerobic species, which has implication forclinical management strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • Diabetic foot ulcer, Microbiology, Biofilms


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