Reasons for performing study: There is a growing interest in the use of autologous platelet concentrates (PCs) as treatment for chronic musculoskeletal diseases in horses. However, there is no information on the risk of bacterial contamination during their preparation.
Objectives: To: 1) assess the risk of bacterial contamination in equine PCs obtained by the tube method under 3 technical conditions: a) in a laminar flow cabinet, in a clean laboratory environment both with (b) and without (c) Bunsen burner; 2) identify the critical points of the process of PCs preparation with risk of bacterial contamination; and 3) identify the potential bacterial contaminants in the process and their antibiotic susceptibility.
Methods: Bacteriological samples were taken from: the skin (shaved or unshaved) of the venipuncture site in 15 horses, both before and after being disinfected; hands and throat of the operator; caps of the tubes where the blood was processed; environment where the equine blood samples were collected; laboratory environment; laminar flow cabinet; bacteriological stove; and PCs obtained under 3 technical conditions.
Results: Bacteria were isolated from nonaseptically prepared equine skin, hands and throat of the operator, and the place where the blood samples were taken. Bacteria were not isolated from tube caps, laboratory environment, laminar flow cabinet or PCs. The isolated bacteria were normal biota from equine skin, human skin and throat, and environmental contaminants. Of the isolated bacteria, 23% were resistant to penicillin, 19% to ampicillin, 2.12% to ceftiofur, 3.2% to sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim and 1.1% to enrofloxacin. Resistance to amikacin and gentamicin was not seen.
Conclusions and potential relevance: Uncontaminated PCs can be obtained by the tube method in a clean laboratory environment without the need for either a laminar flow cabinet or a Bunsen burner. It is mandatory to perform the procedure following strict aseptic technique.