Central venous catheter biofilm depends on multiple environmental factors

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This study characterized the phenotype (strong versus weak biofilm-producers) of S. epidermidis from CVCs in four different in vitro biofilm models, covering differences in material type (glass versus polymer) and nutrient presentation (static versus continuous flow)” Van Kerckhoven et al (2016).

Abstract:

Central venous catheter (CVC)-related infections are commonly caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis that is able to form a biofilm on the catheter surface. Many studies involving biofilm formation by Staphylococcus have been published each adopting an own in vitro model. Since the capacity to form a biofilm depends on multiple environmental factors, direct comparison of results obtained in different studies remains challenging.

This study characterized the phenotype (strong versus weak biofilm-producers) of S. epidermidis from CVCs in four different in vitro biofilm models, covering differences in material type (glass versus polymer) and nutrient presentation (static versus continuous flow). A good correlation in phenotype was obtained between glass and polymeric surfaces independent of nutrient flow, with 85% correspondence under static growth conditions and 80% under dynamic conditions. A 80% correspondence between static and dynamic conditions on polymeric surfaces could be demonstrated as well. Incubation time had a significant influence on the biofilm phenotype with only 55% correspondence between the dynamic models at different incubation times (48h versus 17h). Screening for the presence of biofilm-related genes only revealed that ica A was correlated with biofilm formation under static but not under dynamic conditions. In conclusion, this study highlights that a high level of standardization is necessary to interpret and compare results of different in vitro biofilm models.

Reference:

Van Kerckhoven, M., Hotterbeekx, A., Lanckacker, E., Moons, P., Lammens, C., Kerstens, M., Ieven, M., Delputte, P., Jorens, P.G., Malhotra-Kumar, S., Goossens, H., Maes, L. and Cos, P. (2016) Characterizing the in vitro biofilm phenotype of staphylococcus epidermidis isolates from central venous catheters. Journal of Microbiological Methods. May 16th. [Epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2016.05.009.

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