Biofilm formation on central venous catheters
Introduction: Central line-associated bloodstream infection is a complication with serious consequences and biofilm development is thought to play a role. This study evaluated the impact of sterilization technique on central venous catheter (CVC) biofilm formation.
Materials and methods: This pilot study was conducted in the surgical intensive care unit of a tertiary care facility. All CVCs were inserted with chlorhexidine preparation (CHG). CHG-only CVCs were compared to the use of CHG with chlorhexidine gluconate-impregnated sponge (CHGIS). After removal, a punch biopsy of the CVC was taken at the noted skin level. Scanning electron microscopy identified the stage of biofilm. Confocal laser scanning microscopy with SYPRO stain confirmed the presence of glycocalyx and a volumetric analysis was completed.
Results: Twenty four CVCs were collected. Indications for line placement were similar, with 42% placed for sepsis in the CHGIS group and 33% in the CHG group. There were no positive line cultures or bacteremia and 2/12 CHGIS patients had candidemia. CHGIS lines were in place for a mean of 91 h, compared to 60 h with CHG alone (P = 0.19). The interior of CVCs had lower stage biofilms than the exterior and lacked stage 4 biofilms. Stage 4 biofilms were present externally on 50% of CVCs (8/12 CHG and 4/12 CHGIS). Stage 3 biofilms were present on 7/12 CHG and 6/12 CHGIS interior samples. Volume analysis found an increase in biofilm and glycocalyx in CHGIS compared to CHG samples.
Conclusions: This study identified biofilms on both surfaces of CVCs. No significant difference in biofilm formation was found based on a sterilization technique.
Niemann B, Dudas L, Gray D, Pettit A, Wilson A, Bardes JM. Biofilm Formation on Central Venous Catheters: A Pilot Study. J Surg Res. 2022 Aug 11;280:123-128. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.06.072. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35964484.