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Prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

November 5, 2010
Trautner BW, Hull RA, Darouiche RO
Curr Opin Infect Dis 18(1):37-41

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The underlying cause of catheter-associated urinary tract infection is biofilm formation by uropathogens on the urinary catheter. Biofilm is a relatively new concept in medicine, and current measures to prevent biofilm formation are inadequate. Considerable work is being done in this area, but little clinical progress has been made. The purpose of this review is to analyze recent publications concerning prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

RECENT FINDINGS: Several recent studies have elucidated aspects of biofilm formation in catheter-associated urinary tract infection. Other researchers are working on methods to disrupt biofilm formation on catheter surfaces. At the same time, the magnitude of the problem of catheter-associated urinary tract infection has increased awareness of the effectiveness of basic infection control measures. A modern approach to infection control may include computerized ordering systems that minimize unnecessary days of catheterization. Finally, consumption of cranberry juice products and bacterial interference are two novel approaches to urinary tract infection prevention.

SUMMARY: Biofilm-disrupting strategies offer promise for the future but have little immediate applicability. Implementation of infection control measures to improve catheter function and remove unnecessary catheters can be done at the present time. In general, prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection remains an elusive goal. More basic research at the level of pathogenesis is needed so that novel strategies can be designed.