The local mechanical environment at a fracture is known to influence biological factors such as callus formation, immune cell recruitment and susceptibility to infection. Infection models incorporating a fracture are therefore required to evaluate prevention and treatment of infection after osteosynthesis. The aim of this study was to create humane, standardised and repeatable preclinical models of implant-related bone infection after osteosynthesis in the rabbit humerus. Custom-designed interlocked intramedullary nails and commercially available locking plates were subjected to biomechanical evaluation in cadaveric rabbit humeri; a 10-week in vivo healing study; a dose response study with Staphylococcus aureus over 4 weeks; and finally, a long-term infection of 10 weeks in the plate model. Outcome measures included biomechanical testing, radiography, histology, haematology and quantitative bacteriology. Both implants offered similar biomechanical stability in cadaveric bones, and when applied in the in vivo study, resulted in complete radiographic and histological healing and osteotomy closure within 10-weeks. As expected in the infection study, higher bacterial doses led to an increasing infection rate. In both infected groups, there was a complete lack of osteotomy closure at 4 weeks. C-reactive protein (CRP), lymphocyte: granulocyte ratio and weight loss were increased in infected animals receiving IM nails in comparison with non-inoculated equivalents, although this was less evident in the plate group. In the 10-week infection group, healing does not occur in the plated rabbits. We have successfully developed a rabbit model that is suitable for further studies, particularly those looking into preventative strategies for post-traumatic implant-related osteomyelitis.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Disease Models, Animal
Fracture Fixation, Internal*/methods
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)Osteomyelitis