Background: Peripherally inserted central catheters are susceptible to microbial colonisation and subsequent biofilm formation, leading to central line-associated bloodstream infection, a serious peripherally inserted central catheter-related complication. Next-generation peripherally inserted central catheter biomaterials, such as hydrophobic materials (e.g. Endexo®), may reduce microbial biofilm formation or attachment, consequently reducing the potential for central line-associated bloodstream infection.
Methods: Within a randomised controlled trial, culture-dependent and culture-independent methods were used to determine if the biomaterials used in traditional polyurethane peripherally inserted central catheters and hydrophobic peripherally inserted central catheters impacted microbial biofilm composition. This study also explored the impact of other clinical characteristics including central line-associated bloodstream infection, antibiotic therapy and dwell time on the microbial biofilm composition of peripherally inserted central catheters.
Results: From a total of 32 patients, one peripherally inserted central catheter was determined to be colonised with Staphylococcus aureus, and on further analysis, the patient was diagnosed with central line-associated bloodstream infection. All peripherally inserted central catheters (n = 17 polyurethane vs n = 15 hydrophobic) were populated with complex microbial communities, including peripherally inserted central catheters considered non-colonised. The two main microbial communities observed included Staphylococcus spp., dominant on the colonised peripherally inserted central catheter, and Enterococcus, dominant on non-colonised peripherally inserted central catheters. Both the peripherally inserted central catheter biomaterial design and antibiotic therapy had no significant impact on microbial communities. However, the diversity of microbial communities significantly decreased with dwell time.
Conclusion: More diverse pathogens were present on the colonised peripherally inserted central catheter collected from the patient with central line-associated bloodstream infection. Microbial biofilm composition did not appear to be affected by the design of peripherally inserted central catheter biomaterials or antibiotic therapy. However, the diversity of the microbial communities appeared to decrease with dwell time.
Higgins, M., Zhang, L., Ford, R., Brownlie, J., Kleidon, T., Rickard, C. M. and Ullman, A. (2020) The microbial biofilm composition on peripherally inserted central catheters: A comparison of polyurethane and hydrophobic catheters collected from paediatric patients. The Journal of Vascular Access. June 22nd. https://doi.org/10.1177/1129729820932423. (epub ahead of print).