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Ago 05, 2021

Biofilm-related infections

Biofilm formation in medical devices (for example vascular and bladder catheters) represents a problem that should not be underestimated, in order to ensure the full effectiveness of therapies and avoid infections.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among all microbial and chronic infections, 65% and 80% these, respectively, are associated with biofilm formation.

The bacterial biofilm is able to resist the human immune system and antibiotics, increasing infection-related mortality or chronicity of infections. That's why, in the insertion and management of devices, it is important that healthcare professionals are aware of this problem, in order to implement the appropriate measures to prevent it.

Biofilm: what it is and how it forms

A biofilm is an organized aggregate of microorganisms, enclosed within a matrix of self-produced extracellular polymeric substance.

Single-celled organisms generally exhibit two modes of behavior. In the first, they float in the liquid medium that contains them (planktonic or floating form), in the second (aggregate or sessile form) the cells are tightly bound and firmly attached to each other.

In the initial stage of biofilm formation, the first free-floating microbial cells adhere to a surface through their appendages (such as fimbriae, pili, and flagella) or physical forces such as Van der Waals forces.

The first colonizers facilitate the arrival of other cells and thus begin to build the matrix that enables the integrity of the biofilm. It then grows through cell divisions and integration of external bacteria (even of other species).

In general, several stages in the development of a biofilm can be distinguished:

  • reversible attachement;
  • irreversible attachement;
  • biofilm maturation;
  • biofilm dispersion.

How to avoid biofilm formation in central venous catheters

Biofilm formation is related to device contamination that may originate endogenously (from the patient's skin) or exogenously (from healthcare professionals).

In CVCs, biofilm formation can lead to bloodstream infections and subsequent serious complications. That is why it is always essential that the personnel involved in device insertion and management adhere to the recommendations provided for hand hygiene and aseptic technique.

KiteLock™ 4% is a lock solution for catheters, designed specifically to ensure greater patient safety by reducing the risk of bacterial colonization and biofilm formation inside the devices.

This mixture of tetrasodium edetate and trisodium edetate in a single solution reduces the "triple threat" of clots, microorganisms and biofilm. Clinical studies have shown that KiteLock™ 4% significantly reduces (p<0.05) the bacterial colonization rate by 87% in patients with hemodialysis catheters.

Disposable, transparent and colorless, this solution is suitable for use in oncology, pediatrics and parenteral nutrition, as it does not contain antibiotics, preservatives, alcohol or latex.

To learn more, read the article dedicated to KiteLock™ 4% or contact us here for more information from one of our professionals.



Bacterial biofilm and associated infections, Jamal M, Ahmad W, Andleeb S, Jalil F, Imran M, Nawaz MA, Hussain T, Ali M, Rafiq M, Kamil MA.

Il biofilm e le infezioni correlate all’assistenza, Nurse24.it

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