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Immunology and Infection

PRP as a New Approach to Prevent Infection: Preparation and In vitro Antimicrobial Properties of PRP

Published: April 9th, 2013



1Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, West Virginia University , 2Department of Orthopaedics, Stem Cell Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, 3WVNano Initiative, 4Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center

Implant-associated infection is a significant clinical complication. This study describes an approach using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to prevent implant-associated infections, presents the protocol for preparing PRP with constant platelet concentration, and reports the newly identified antimicrobial properties of PRP and related protocols for examining such antimicrobial properties in vitro.

Implant-associated infection is becoming more and more challenging to the healthcare industry worldwide due to increasing antibiotic resistance, transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria between animals and humans, and the high cost of treating infections.

In this study, we disclose a new strategy that may be effective in preventing implant-associated infection based on the potential antimicrobial properties of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Due to its well-studied properties for promoting healing, PRP (a biological product) has been increasingly used for clinical applications including orthopaedic surgeries, periodontal and oral surgeries, maxillofacial surgeries, plastic surgeries, sports medicine, etc.

PRP could be an advanced alternative to conventional antibiotic treatments in preventing implant-associated infections. The use of PRP may be advantageous compared to conventional antibiotic treatments since PRP is less likely to induce antibiotic resistance and PRP's antimicrobial and healing-promoting properties may have a synergistic effect on infection prevention. It is well known that pathogens and human cells are racing for implant surfaces, and PRP's properties of promoting healing could improve human cell attachment thereby reducing the odds for infection. In addition, PRP is inherently biocompatible, and safe and free from the risk of transmissible diseases.

For our study, we have selected several clinical bacterial strains that are commonly found in orthopaedic infections and examined whether PRP has in vitro antimicrobial properties against these bacteria. We have prepared PRP using a twice centrifugation approach which allows the same platelet concentration to be obtained for all samples. We have achieved consistent antimicrobial findings and found that PRP has strong in vitro antimicrobial properties against bacteria like methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Group A Streptococcus, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Therefore, the use of PRP may have the potential to prevent infection and to reduce the need for costly post-operative treatment of implant-associated infections.

Implant-associated infection is a significant clinical complication. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is one of the most common microorganisms isolated from implant-associated infections. It is capable of producing a biofilm that covers the surfaces of implants and may lead to antibiotic-resistant infection 1,2. Treatment of implant-associated infection frequently requires long-term hospitalization for repeated debridements and prolonged parenteral antibiotic therapy. In antibiotic resistant cases, removal of the implant may be necessary. The rising resistance of bacteria to antibiotics has also been referred to by the Centers for Disease....

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1. Preparation and Activation of PRP

1.1 Blood draw

  1. Anesthetize rabbit by inhalation of isoflurane (2% in O2 for induction and 1% for maintenance).
  2. Draw 2 ml 0.129 M tri-sodium citrate (an anticoagulent solution) into a 20 ml syringe. The tri-sodium citrate solution is prepared by dissolving 1.897 g tri-sodium citrate in 50 ml distilled H2O and filtering with a 0.22 μm sterile filter.
  3. Sterilize the rabbit ear using 70% ethanol.
  4. Dr.......

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PRP is reproducibly prepared using a twice centrifugation approach (Figure 1). PRP is found to present strong (up to 100-fold reduction in CFUs) in vitro antimicrobial properties against methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (Figure 3), which is commonly found in hospitals worldwide 14. Similarly, PRP has strong antimicrobial properties against methicillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), Group A Streptococcus, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.......

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Platelet-rich plasma has been increasingly used for clinical applications due to its healing-promoting properties 15-17. In the present study, PRP was presented as a new approach for infection prevention. PRP was found to have strong antimicrobial properties against MRSA, MSSA, Group A Streptococcus, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The major advantages of PRP, compared to conventional antibiotic treatments, for infection prevention include: (1) Current antibiotic therapies are facing challenges in.......

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The authors thank Therwa Hamza, John E. Tidwell, Nina Clovis, and Suzanne Smith for experimental assistance and Suzanne Smith for proofreading. The authors also thank John Thomas, PhD for providing the bacterial clinical isolates and John B. Barnett, PhD for his support and the use of the biological safety lab at the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology at West Virginia University. The authors acknowledge financial support from the Osteosynthesis and Trauma Care Foundation and National Science Foundation (#1003907). Microscope experiments and image analysis were also performed in the West Virginia University Imaging Facility, which is suppo....

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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Name of Reagent/Material Company Catalog Number Comments
Bovine thrombin King Pharmaceuticals, Inc 60793-215-05 Thrombin (bovine origin)
Calcium chloride King Pharmaceuticals, Inc 60793-215-05 10% calcium chloride
Ethanol Sigma-Aldrich E7023
Isoflurane Baxter 1001936060
Mueller Hinton broth Becton, Dickinson and Company 275710
Phosphate-buffered saline Sigma-Aldrich D8662
Tri-sodium citrate Sigma-Aldrich W302600
Tryptic soy agar Fisher Scientific R01202
Centrifuge Kendro Laboratory Products 750043077
Syringe filter Millipore SLGP033RS

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