1887

Abstract

Previous experimental investigations of the crystalline biofilms that colonize and block urinary catheters have focussed on their formation by pure cultures of In the urine of patients undergoing long-term catheterization, is commonly found in mixed communities with other urinary tract pathogens. Little is known about the effect that the other species have on the rate at which encrusts catheters. In the present study, a set of data on the nature of the bacterial communities on 106 catheter biofilms has been analysed and it was found that while species such as and were commonly associated with , when , or were present, was rarely or never found. The hypothesis that the absence of from some biofilm communities could be due to its active exclusion by other species has also been examined. Experiments in laboratory models showed that co-infection of with or had no effect on the ability of to encrust and block catheters. Co-infection with or , however, significantly increased the time that catheters took to block ( <0.05). The growth of , , or in the model for 72 h prior to superinfection with significantly delayed catheter blockage. In the case of , for example, the mean time to blockage was extended from 28.7 h to 60.7 h ( ≤0.01). In all cases, however, was able to generate alkaline urine, colonize the biofilms, induce crystal formation and block the catheters. The results suggest that although there is a degree of antagonism between and some of the other urinary tract organisms, the effects are temporary and whatever the pre-existing urinary microbiota, infection with is thus likely to lead to catheter encrustation and blockage.

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2007-11-01
2019-11-19
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