Current methods for molecular epidemiology studies of implant infections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last few decades, the number of surgical procedures involving prosthetic materials has greatly multiplied, along with the rising medical and economic impact of implant-associated infections. The need to appropriately counteract and deal with this phenomenon has led to growing efforts to elucidate the etiology, pathogenesis and epidemiology of these types of infections, characterized by opportunistic pathogens. Molecular epidemiology studies have progressively emerged as a leading multitask tool to identify and fingerprint bacterial strains, unveil the complex clonal nature of important pathogens, detect outbreak events, track the origin of the infections, assess the clinical significance of individual strain types, survey their distribution, recognize associations of strain types with specific virulence determinants and/or pathological conditions, assess the role played by the specific components of the virulon, and reveal the phylogeny and the mechanisms through which new strain types have emerged. Despite the many advances that have been made thanks to these flourishing new approaches to molecular epidemiology, a number of critical aspects remain challenging. In this paper, we briefly discuss the current limitations and possible developments of molecular epidemiology methods in the investigation and surveillance of implant infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-654
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Genotyping methods
  • Implant-related infections
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Strain typing
  • Virulence factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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