Identification of Staphylococcus epidermidis vascular graft infections: a comparison of culture techniques.

Culture of prosthetic material is routinely used to exclude or implicate infection in the pathogenesis of late-appearing graft complications. In a canine model of aortic graft infection caused by a bacterial biofilm, the influence of culture media (blood agar and tryptic soy broth) and mechanical surface biofilm disruption (tissue grinding and ultrasonic oscillation) on microorganism recovery was determined. Dacron prostheses colonized in vitro with Staphylococcus epidermidis were implanted in the infrarenal aortas of 36 dogs. After 3 weeks an infection with anatomic characteristics of late graft infection in humans was present. Explantation (+/- surface biofilm disruption) of infected grafts showed broth culture was superior (p less than 0.001) to agar media in confirming infection. The recovery rate of S. epidermidis was 30% with agar media, was 72% with broth media alone, and was 83% with broth media plus biofilm disruption. In situ replacement of infected grafts plus parenteral antibiotics resulted in early (1 month) healing of 31 grafts without signs of infection. All replacement grafts were sterile when cultured in broth media alone, but the addition of biofilm disruption isolated the study strain from eight (22%) of 36 grafts (p less than 0.01). Biofilm disruption by tissue grinding or sonication increased bacteria recovery equally. When biofilm bacterial concentration was less than 100 colony-forming units/cm2 of graft, only culture in broth media reliably recovered microorganisms. In the absence of perigraft inflammation, microbiologic recovery techniques that identify bacterial biofilms are necessary to exclude infection in studies concerning the pathogenesis of late graft complications or the treatment of S. epidermidis prosthetic infections.
AuthorsT M Bergamini, D F Bandyk, D Govostis, R Vetsch, J B Towne
JournalJournal of vascular surgery (J Vasc Surg) Vol. 9 Issue 5 Pg. 665-70 (May 1989) ISSN: 0741-5214 [Print] United States
PMID2524605 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Culture Media
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates
  • Animals
  • Aorta, Abdominal (microbiology, surgery)
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis (adverse effects)
  • Culture Media
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Female
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates
  • Staphylococcal Infections (etiology, microbiology)
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis (isolation & purification)
  • Surface Properties
  • Surgical Wound Infection (etiology, microbiology)

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