Biofilm reduction potential of 0.02% polyhexanide irrigation solution in several types of urethral catheters
FHH Brill, J Hambach, C Utpatel, DC Mogrovejo, H Gabriel, JH Klock, J Steinmann, A Arndt
BMC Urol 21, 58 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12894-021-00826-3
Background: Long-term use of urethral catheters is associated with high risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) and blockage. Microbial biofilms are a common cause of catheter blockage, reducing their lifetime and significantly increasing morbidity of UTIs. A 0.02% polyhexanide irrigation solution developed for routine mechanical rinsing shows potential for bacterial decolonization of urethral catheters and has the potential to reduce or prevent biofilm formation.
Methods: Using an in vitro assay with standard market-leading types of catheters artificially contaminated with clinically relevant bacteria, assays were carried out to evaluate the biofilm reduction and prevention potential of a 0.02% polyhexanide solution versus no intervention (standard approach) and irrigation with saline solution (NaCl 0.9%). The efficiency of decolonization was measured through microbial plate count and membrane filtration.
Results: Irrigation using a 0.02% polyhexanide solution is suitable for the decolonization of a variety of transurethral catheters. The effect observed is significant compared to irrigation with 0.9% saline solution (p = 0.002) or no treatment (p = 0.011). No significant difference was found between irrigation with 0.9% saline solution and no treatment (p = 0.74).
Conclusions: A 0.02% polyhexanide solution is able to reduce bacterial biofilm from catheters artificially contaminated with clinically relevant bacteria in vitro. The data shows a reduction of the viability of thick bacterial biofilms in a variety of commercially available urinary catheters made from silicone, latex-free silicone, hydrogel-coated silicone and PVC. Further research is required to evaluate the long-term tolerability and efficacy of polyhexanide in clinical practice.