[Urinary catheter biofilm infections]

V Holá, F Růzicka
Epidemiologie, Mikrobiologie, Imunologie 2008, 57 (2): 47-52
Urinary tract infections, most of which are biofilm infections in catheterized patients, account for more than 40% of hospital infections. Bacterial colonization of the urinary tract and catheters causes not only infection but also other complications such as catheter blockage by bacterial encrustation, urolithiasis and pyelonephritis. About 50% of long-term catheterized patients face urinary flow obstruction due to catheter encrustation, but no measure is currently available to prevent it. Encrustation has been known either to result from metabolic dysfunction or to be of microbial origin, with urease positive bacterial species implicated most often. Infectious calculi account for about 15-20% of all cases of urolithiasis and are often associated with biofilm colonization of a long-term indwelling urinary catheter or urethral stent. The use of closed catheter systems is helpful in reducing such problems; nevertheless, such a system only delays the inevitable, with infections emerging a little later. Various coatings intended to prevent the bacterial adhesion to the surface of catheters and implants and thus also the emergence of biofilm infections, unfortunately, do not inhibit the microbial adhesion completely and permanently and the only reliable method for biofilm eradication remains the removal of the foreign body from the patient.

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