eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2017   Volume No 34 – pages 83-98

Title: A large animal model for a failed two-stage revision of intramedullary nail-related infection by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Authors: TF Moriarty, T Schmid, V Post, E Samara, S Kates, EM Schwarz, S Zeiter, RG Richards

Address: AO Research Institute Davos, Davos, Switzerland.

E-mail: fintan.moriarty at

Key Words: Staged revision, osteomyelitis, Staphylococcus aureus, intramedullary nail, MRSA, antibiotic-loaded bone cement, local antibiotic, systemic antibiotic, antibiotic cement nail.

Publication date: August 30th 2017

Abstract: The treatment of chronic orthopaedic device-associated infection (ODRI) often requires multiple surgeries and prolonged antibiotic therapy. Despite this extensive treatment protocol, the procedure is associated with significant failure rates. Currently, no large animal model is available that recapitulates a failed revision. Therefore, our aim was to establish a large animal model for failed treatment of an ODRI in order to serve as a testbed for future interventional strategies.
    Adult Swiss Alpine sheep received an intramedullary nail in the tibia and a localised inoculum of either a methicillin-sensitive or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA, MRSA respectively). After 8 weeks, when chronic infection had been established, the animals underwent a staged revision with debridement and temporary placement of an antibiotic-loaded cement spacer. Antibiotics were delivered systemically in a standard or pathogen-adapted manner.
    Debridement and implant exchange alone failed to treat the MSSA infection. Neither local therapy alone nor systemic therapy alone were effective in resolving infection with MSSA, but a combination of local and systemic therapy was effective against it. MRSA infection was not resolved by the combination of local and systemic antibiotics (standard or pathogen-adapted).
     A model for failed revision of MRSA infection is described despite the use of local and systemic antibiotics. Novel interventions may be assessed using this model, including antibiotic and non-antibiotic interventions.

Article download: Pages 83-98 (PDF file)