Murine burn lesion model for studying acute and chronic wound infections

Henrik Calum*, Hannah Trøstrup, Anne Sofie Laulund, Kim Thomsen, Lars Christophersen, Niels Høiby, Claus Moser

*Corresponding author for this work


Acute wounds, such as thermal injury, and chronic wounds are challenging for patients and the healthcare system around the world. Thermal injury of considerable size induces immunosuppression, which renders the patient susceptible to wound infections, but also in other foci like the airways and urinary tract. Infected thermal lesions can progress to chronic wounds with biofilm making them more difficult to treat. While animal models have their limitations, murine wound models are still the best tool at the moment to identify strategies to overcome these challenges. Here, we present a murine burn model, which has been developed to study biofilm formation, the significance of wound healing, and for identifying novel treatment candidates. Investigating the effect of a thermal injury in mice, we observed that 48 h after introduction of the injury, the mice showed a reduction in polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes (PMNs) and a reduced capacity for phagocytosis and oxidative burst. Regarding the chronic wound, Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm arrested wound healing and kept the wound in an inflammatory state, but suppressing PMN function by means of the PMN factor S100A8/A9, corresponding to observations in human venous leg ulcers. Monotherapy and dual treatment with S100A8/A9 and ciprofloxacin on P. aeruginosa biofilm-infected murine wounds have been investigated. In combination, S100A8/A9 and ciprofloxacin reduced the bacterial quantity, lowered the proinflammatory response, and increased anti-inflammatory cytokines after 4 days of treatment. When the treatment was prolonged, an additional prevention of resistance development was detected in all the dual-treated mice. In the present review, we provide data on using the murine model for research with the aim of better understanding pathophysiology of wounds and for identifying novel treatments for humans suffering from these lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13228
JournalAPMIS - Journal of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)477-490
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Animals
  • Biofilms
  • Burns
  • Calgranulin A
  • Ciprofloxacin/pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Pseudomonas Infections/microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa/physiology
  • Wound Infection/drug therapy


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