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Journal of Surgical Research


Introduction: The use of prosthetic mesh in hernia repair provides a powerful tool to increase repair longevity, decrease recurrence rates, and facilitate complex abdominal wall reconstruction. Overall infection rates with mesh are low, but for those affected there is high morbidity and economic cost. The availability of a practicable small animal model would be advantageous for the preclinical testing of prophylactics, therapeutics, and new biomaterials. To this end, we have developed a novel mouse model for implantation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus–infected surgical mesh and provide results from antibiotic and immunotherapeutic testing. Materials and Methods: Implantation of surgical mesh between fascial planes of the mouse hind limb was used to approximate hernia repair in humans. Surgical mesh was inoculated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to test the efficacy of antibiotic therapy with daptomycin and/or immunotherapy to induce macrophage phagocytosis using antibody blockade of the CD47 “don't eat me” molecule. Clinical outcomes were assessed by daily ambulation scores of the animals and by enumeration of mesh-associated bacteria at predetermined end points. Results: A single prophylactic treatment with daptomycin at the time of surgery led to improved ambulation scores and undetectable levels of bacteria in seven of eight mice by 21 days postinfection. Anti-CD47, an activator of macrophage phagocytosis, was ineffective when administered alone or in combination with daptomycin treatment. Ten days of daily antibiotic therapy begun 3 days after infection was ineffective at clearing infection. Conclusions: This fast and simple model allows rapid in vivo testing of novel antimicrobials and immunomodulators to treat surgical implant infections.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.