New long-term antimicrobial catheter developed

September 3, 2012

A novel antimicrobial catheter that remains infection-free for up to twelve weeks could dramatically improve the lives of long-term catheter users. The scientists who have developed the new technology are presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have developed a catheter that can kill most urinary bacteria, including most strains of Proteus bacteria – the most common cause of catheter infections. Importantly the antimicrobial catheter retains its activity for between six to twelve weeks, making it suitable for long-term use, unlike existing commercial anti-infection catheters.

are commonly used to manage incontinence in the elderly or individuals who have suffered long-term spinal cord injury. All catheters become infected after a couple of weeks and Proteus bacteria are responsible for up to 40% of these infections. The bacterium sticks to catheter surfaces and breaks down urea, causing the pH of urine to rise. This causes deposits of mineral crystals in the catheter which blocks it, preventing drainage. If unnoticed, catheter blockage can lead to kidney and , which ultimately may result in potentially fatal .

This new antimicrobial catheter has significant advantages over existing solutions, explained Dr Roger Bayston who is leading the development. "Commercial 'anti-infection' catheters are active for only a few days and are not suitable for long-term use. There is an urgent need for an antimicrobial catheter that is suitable for long-term use. Our catheter uses patented technology that does not involve any coatings which extends its . The process involves introducing antimicrobial molecules into the catheter material after manufacture, so that they are evenly distributed throughout it, yet can move through the material to replenish those washed away from the surface."

There are 100 million catheter users worldwide whose lives can be severely disrupted by illness from repeat infections and side-effects from antibiotics. "The catheter technology has proven benefit in other medical settings and has the potential to be the solution to recurrent infections in long-term users, which will improve quality of life of these individuals. In addition, reducing the need to frequently change catheters and treat infections would represent huge financial savings to the NHS," explained Dr Bayston.

Explore further: Antimicrobial catheters could save NHS millions

More information: Dr Bayston's poster presentation "Determining the efficacy of a novel antimicrobial urinary catheter against Proteus mirabilis" will take place on Tuesday 4 September at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference 2012.

Related Stories

Antimicrobial catheters could save NHS millions

March 27, 2012
A new catheter coating that reduces bacterial attachment to its surface is being developed by scientists who are reporting their work at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Dublin this week. The antimicrobial ...

'Smart catheters' for the major problem of catheter-related infections

August 23, 2012
A new "smart catheter" that senses the start of an infection, and automatically releases an anti-bacterial substance, is being developed to combat the problem of catheter-related blood and urinary tract infections, scientists ...

Acne-treating antibiotic cuts catheter infections in dialysis patients

August 19, 2011
Antibiotics can help ward off serious bacterial infections in kidney disease patients who use tubes called catheters for their dialysis treatments. But if antibiotics are used too often, "super bugs" may crop up that are ...

Recommended for you

New insights into the world of trypanosomes

August 23, 2017
Single specimens of the vermicular pathogens causing sleeping sickness swim inside the gut of the tsetse fly between blood cells which the fly has ingested from an infected mammal. This is where they start their week-long ...

Survey of DNA fragments circulating in the blood suggests vast microbial diversity

August 23, 2017
A new survey of DNA fragments circulating in human blood suggests our bodies contain vastly more diverse microbes than anyone previously understood. What's more, the overwhelming majority of those microbes have never been ...

Study a breakthrough in understanding chronic pain in children

August 23, 2017
A University of Calgary psychologist who studies pediatric pain has made a breakthrough in understanding the cause of chronic pain in adolescents—by focusing on those recovering from major surgeries.

Scientists develop infection model for tickborne flaviviruses

August 22, 2017
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have filled a research gap by developing a laboratory model to study ticks that transmit flaviviruses, such as Powassan virus. Powassan virus was implicated in the death of a ...

Zika virus stifles pregnant women's weakened immune system to harm baby, study finds

August 21, 2017
The Zika virus, linked to congenital birth defects and miscarriages, suppresses a pregnant woman's immune system, enabling the virus to spread and increasing the chances an unborn baby will be harmed, a Keck School of Medicine ...

Fatty liver can cause damage to other organs via crosstalk

August 21, 2017
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is increasingly common. Approximately every third adult in industrialized countries has a morbidly fatty liver. This not only increases the risk of chronic liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.