Higher proportion of low‑virulence anaerobic bacterial infection in young patients with intervertebral disc herniation
- Guoqing Tang
- Yong Chen
- Ji Chen
- Zhuo Wang
- Weimin Jiang
Affiliations: Orthopedic Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215000, P.R. China, Orthopedic Center, Kunshan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215300, P.R. China
- Published online on: August 16, 2019 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.7910
Copyright: © Tang
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration caused by the latent infection of low‑virulence anaerobic bacteria (LVAB) is a hot research topic. The present study analyzed and compared the positive rate of LVAB within IVDs of patients of different ages. IVD samples were intraoperatively retrieved from 176 patients with disc herniation and subjected to microbiological culture. Subsequently, all the patients were classified into 3 groups based on their ages as follows: Group A (age <30 years), group B (age from 30 to 50 years) and group C (age >50 years) and the positive rates of LVAB were compared among the three groups. The severity of IVD degeneration was also assessed by measuring intervertebral height. Of the 176 cultured discs, 39 samples had bacterial growth, while 6 of them were suspiciously contaminated. Follwoing the exclusion of the 6 suspicious samples, 31 samples were Propionibacterium acnes and 2 samples were coagulase‑negative Staphylococci of the remaining 33 samples, The bacterial positive rates were significantly higher in younger patients, with 34.4% (11/32), 25.5% (13/51) and 10.3% (9/87) in group A, B and C, respectively. More importantly, the bacterial‑positive samples had a significantly lower disc height compared with the negative samples in groups A and B. Therefore, it can be reasonably concluded that younger patients have a much higher prevalence of LVAB infection in herniated IVDs and a greater severity of IVD degeneration when infected by bacteria. The LVAB may have a strong association with IVD degeneration, particularly in young patients.