Osteomyelitis is a prolonged inflammation within the bone and the bone marrow usually caused by a bacterial infection. The disease in children is usually limited to the long bones. In adults the pelvis and the vertebrae may be affected.
In children the most common bacteria (90%) is staphylococcus aureus. It is also the commonest pathogen in adults, however, when osteomyelitis is found in adults in the vertebrae this may often be the tuberculus bacillus, where it has spread from the lungs. Where bone trauma has occurred, particularly from an accident, different, often mixed, organisms can be found.
Osteomyelitis may be caused by bacteria entering the blood stream from either a penetrating wound or infection elsewhere in the body. In adults it may occur following infected root canals.
Treatment of chronic osteomyelitis is usually with prolonged courses of antibiotics as the site of the infection, within the bone, is generally hard to access. This may sometimes be associated with some form of surgical intervention to remove pus or necrotic tissue.
Mesentech’s technology is a new approach to the treatment of osteomyelitis and provides a mechanism whereby antibacterial agents can be effectively targeted to and within bone, gaining access to the site of the infection. Current treatments usually require long courses of antibiotics given intravenously in an attempt to achieve adequate levels of the drug at the site of the infection. The Mesentech targeting technology, in providing increased access directly to the bone, can increase efficacy of treatment and shorten treatment times and may allow for lower levels of antibiotics to be administered, thus reducing side effects.