Fracture-related infection can be difficult to identify and diagnose at its early stages. However, bone repair has been shown to correlate with the release of extracellular vesicles harboring specific micro-RNAs (miRNAs), which function to modulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The sequence specificity of miRNAs can signal a specific immune response, a signal which could be utilized as an early indicator of infection.
To identify infection specific miRNA signals in patients with confirmed infection and experimentally infected mice.
An infected murine osteotomy repair model was devised, and mice were infected with a clinical strain of Staphylococcus aureus. Serum samples were taken from infected and non-infected mice and will be compared to serum samples from infected and non-infected fracture patients by performing total RNA sequencing with the intention of identifying microRNAs consistently associated with infection.