Treatment of a Traumatic Equine Wound Using Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Skin as a Xenograft
Background: Wounds are disruptions of the normal continuity of anatomic structures, generally due to local trauma. They are extremely prevalent in animals, especially horses, and a common reason for seeking veterinary attention. Their management aims to restore the function and integrity of the affected area in the shortest possible time and cost, while providing satisfactory cosmetic results. This task becomes challenging when working with horses, considering the contact between wounds and contaminated environment is common. Thus, the present study aims to report the case of a traumatic equine wound treated with Nile Tilapia Fish Skin (NTFS).
Case: A male 27-year-old horse previously castrated, with no defined breed (NDB), and weighing 400 kg presented a 6.0 x 5.5 cm superficial wound in the distal left anterior limb (LAL) due to skin laceration. The animal belonged to the cavalry of the Military Police of Ceará, a public institution in Fortaleza, Brazil. Although in excellent general health, with no previous comorbidities or restriction of movement, the animal was removed from its role in equine-assisted therapy (EAT) until complete wound healing, aiming adequate evaluation of the novel biomaterial via lower influence of external factors. After informed consent from the owner was obtained, Nile Tilapia Fish Skin was applied to the lesion. The Ethics Committee on the use of animals of the Drug Research and Development Center of the Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil, approved the study protocol. Compliance with regulations on the ethical treatment of animals was performed. Nile Tilapia Fish Skin application followed a protocol similar to that established in human clinical studies. Initially, the horse was submitted to wound cleaning with tap water and 2% chlorhexidine gluconate, with no requirement of pre-treatment surgical debridement, as there was no area of necrosis. Before application, the biomaterial was washed thrice in sterile 0.9% saline for 5 min, allowing glycerol removal. Only one sample was required. Coverage of 1 cm of healthy skin in wound borders was performed to ensure movement in
the first days of treatment or xenograft retraction after adherence to wound bed would not lead to uncovering of any affected area. The xenograft was then covered with a secondary dressing (i.e., dry gauze and regular bandage), followed by an elastic bandage, in order to reduce the risk of contamination and allow proper adherence. After seven days, when the secondary dressing was removed, it was observed the xenograft remained intact and well adhered to the wound bed. The patient’s distal LAL was washed with tap water and 2% chlorhexidine, and the xenograft was easily removed, exposing the wound bed. Clinical evaluation revealed remarkable improvement in the aspect of the lesion, with a decrease in the amount of granulation tissue and no significant presence of exudate. The above-cited findings motivated us to continue adopting the same protocol, which was repeated every seven days. On day 42 of treatment, after six applications of NTFS, wound reepithelialization was found to be complete, with no side effects detected on the animal, which successfully returned to its regular activities.
Discussion: The current study demonstrates the potential of NTFS as a practical and low-cost dressing option for the management of accidental wounds in horses. The treated animal showed complete reepithelialization of the lesion, with satisfactory cosmetic and functional outcomes and no allergic reactions or toxicities. Also, no signs of discomfort (e.g., burning and itching) were detected, considering the patient did not try to remove the secondary dressing on its own and consistently respected the changing times.
Alves A.P.N.N, Lima Verde M.E.Q., Ferreira Júnior A.E.C, Silva P.G.B., Feitosa V.P., Lima Júnior E.M., Mi-
randa M.J.B. & Moraes Filho M.O. 2015. Microscopic evaluation, histochemical study and analysis of tensiometric properties of the Nile Tilapia skin. Revista Brasileira de Queimaduras. 14(3): 203-10.
Barroso C.G. 2017. Lesões acidentais em equídeos e expressões de cicloxigenase 2 (cox-2) e toll like receptor 2 (tlr-2)
em feridas experimentais tratadas com óleo de coco (Cocos nucífera L.) em equinos. 82f. Fortaleza, CE. Dissertação
(Mestrado em Ciências Veterinárias) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Universidade Estadual
Costa B.A., Lima Júnior E.M., Silva Júnior F.R., Martins C.B., Nascimento M.F.A. & Moraes Filho M.O. 2017.
Avaliação da redução do uso de analgésicos por pacientes ambulatoriais de um centro de queimados de referência
em fortaleza com a aplicação da pele de tilápia como curativo biológico oclusivo no tratamento de queimaduras de
segundo grau superficial. In: Resumos do XXXVI Encontro de Iniciação Científica. Encontros Universitários da UFC
(Fortaleza, Brazil). v.2. p.884.
Dahlgreen L.A. 2018. Regenerative Medicine Therapies for Equine Wound Management. Veterinary Clinics of North
America: Equine Practice. 34(3): 605-620.
Frees K.E. 2018. Equine Practice on Wound Management; Wound Cleansing and Hygiene. Veterinary Clinics of North
America: Equine Practice. 34(3): 473-484.
Freitas I.S. & Prado L.G. 2015. Utilização do ultrassom terapêutico e do óleo de semente de girassol na cicatrização
de feridas cutâneas em equinos. In: Anais do Congresso de Iniciação Científica da FEPI (Itajubá, Brazil). pp.1-3.
Leontsinis C.M.P, Lima-Júnior E.M, Moraes Filho M.O., Brito M.E.M, Rocha M.B.S., Nascimento M.F.A., Silva
Júnior F.R. & Miranda M.J.B. 2018. Preparation of a protocol for the implementation and functioning of the first
animal skin bank of Brazil: Experience report. Revista Brasileira de Queimaduras. 17(1): 66-71.
Li J., Wang M., Qiao Y., Tian Y., Liu J., Qin S. & Wu W. 2018. Extraction and characterization of type I collagen
from skin of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and its potential application in biomedical scaffold material for tissue
engineering. Process Biochemistry. 74: 156-163.
Lima Júnior E.M., Bandeira T.J.P.G., Miranda M.J.B., Ferreira G.E., Parente E.A., Piccolo N.S. & Moraes
Filho M.O. 2016. Characterization of the microbiota of the skin and oral cavity of Oreochromis niloticus. Journal of
Health and Biological Sciences. 4(3): 193-197.
Lima-Júnior E.M., Picollo N.S., Miranda M.J.B., Ribeiro W.L.C., Alves A.P.N.N., Ferreira G.E., Parente E.A.
& Moraes Filho M.O. 2017. The use of tilapia skin (Oreochromis niloticus), as an occlusive biological dressing, in
the treatment of burn wounds. Revista Brasileira de Queimaduras. 16(1): 10-17.
Liptak J.M. 1997. An overview of the topical management of wounds. Australian Veterinary Journal. 75: 408-413.
Martins P.S., Alves A.L.G., Hussni C.A., Sequeira J.L., Nicoletti J.L.M. & Thomassian A. 2003. Comparison
between phytotherapics on equine wound healing. Archives of Veterinary Science. 8(2): 1-7.
Mickelson M.A., Mans C. & Colopy S.A. 2016. Principles of Wound Management and Wound Healing in Exotic
Pets. The Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice. 19: 33-53.
Wilmink J.M. & Weeren P.R. 2004. Differences in wound healing between horses and ponies: application of research
results to the clinical approach of equine wounds. Clinical Techniques in Equine Practice. 3(2): 123-133.
How to Cite
This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author's work. For more information on this approach, see the Public Knowledge Project and Directory of Open Access Journals.
We define open access journals as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. From the BOAI definition of "open access" we take the right of users to "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles" as mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory.
La Red y Portal Iberoamericano de Revistas Científicas de Veterinaria de Libre Acceso reúne a las principales publicaciones científicas editadas en España, Portugal, Latino América y otros países del ámbito latino