Abstract

The World Health Organization estimates ~180,000 deaths occur annually from burn-related injuries. Many victims that survive the initial burn trauma succumb to bacterial infections that lead to sepsis during treatment. Although advancements in burn care continue to improve in high-income countries due to their burn centers and advanced research, low and middle-income countries continue to see high frequencies of burn injuries and burn-related deaths due to secondary infections. Bacterial-derived sepsis is the most life-threatening danger for people that survive burn injuries. Here we provide evidence for the first time that a subeschar seroma forms post-burn even in the absence of infection in mice. The seroma fills with a volume estimated at 500 µL of fluid, 25% of the blood supply, free of red blood cells. The seroma fluid supports robust Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) growth and contains inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which recruit immature neutrophils and monocytes to the seroma in the absence of endothelial breakdown. These immune cells fail to contain PA expansion and dissemination. This recruitment of monocytes and immature neutrophils may result in sequestering these critical immune cells away from other tissues during a pivotal time during bacterial dissemination, promoting PA-mediated sepsis.

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