Effect of gallium maltolate on a model of chronic, infected equine distal limb wounds. Academic Article uri icon


  • Distal limb wounds are common injuries sustained by horses and their healing is fraught with complications due to equine anatomy, prevalence of infection, and challenges associated with wound management. Gallium is a semi-metallic element that has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties and aid in wound healing in various preclinical models. The effects of Gallium have not been studied in equine wound healing. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare healing rates between gallium-treated and untreated wounds of equine distal limbs and to demonstrate the antimicrobial effects of gallium on wounds inoculated with S. aureus. Using an established model of equine wound healing we demonstrated beneficial effects of 0.5% topical gallium maltolate on equine wound healing. Specifically we documented reduced healing times, reduced bioburden, and reduced formation of exuberant granulation tissue in wounds treated with gallium maltolate as compared with untreated wounds. Gallium appeared to exert its beneficial effects via its well-described antimicrobial actions as well as by altering the expression of specific genes known to be involved in wound healing of horses and other animals. Specifically, gallium maltolate appeared to increase expression of transforming growth factor- in both infected and un-infected wounds. Further work is needed to document the effects of gallium on naturally occurring equine wounds and to compare the effects of gallium with other wound treatment options. These data, however, suggest that gallium may be an attractive and novel means of improving equine distal limb wound healing.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

author list (cited authors)

  • Lawless, S. P., Cohen, N. D., Lawhon, S. D., Chamoun-Emanuelli, A. M., Wu, J., Rivera-Vlez, A., Weeks, B. R., & Whitfield-Cargile, C. M.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Lawless, Shauna P||Cohen, Noah D||Lawhon, Sara D||Chamoun-Emanuelli, Ana M||Wu, Jing||Rivera-Vélez, Andrés||Weeks, Brad R||Whitfield-Cargile, Canaan M

editor list (cited editors)

  • Al-Dissi, A. N.

publication date

  • January 2020