The concomitant development of poly(vinyl chloride)-related biofilm and antimicrobial resistance in relation to ventilator-associated pneumonia
Ventilator-associated pneumonia is a major cause of death in intensive care patients and the endotracheal tube, commonly fabricated from poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), is acknowledged as a significant factor in this. Bacteria colonise the biomaterial, thereby adopting a sessile mode of growth that progresses to the establishment of an antibiotic-resistant biofilm by the accretion of a protective glycocalyx. This study examined the sequential steps involved in the formation of biofilm on PVC by atomic force microscopy and the concomitant development of resistance to an antibiotic (ceftazidime) and to a non-antibiotic antimicrobial agent (hexetidine). Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from ET tube biofilm were employed. The surface microrugosity of bacteria growing in sessile mode on PVC decreased significantly (p<0.05) over the period 4, 24 48 h and 5 d. The progressive accretion of bacterial glycocalyx was readily visualised in micrographs leading to a smoother surface topography with time. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) for ceftazidime and hexetidine against planktonic (suspension) S. aureus were lower than for Ps. aeruginosa. Furthermore, sessile populations of S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa on PVC exhibited greater resistance to both ceftazidime and hexetidine when compared to planktonic bacterial growth. The efficacy of the agents, determined by kill kinetics, against sessile bacteria was dependent on age, with established biofilms (⩾24 h) significantly more resistant (p<0.05) than early sessile populations (⩽4 h). Importantly, for practice, even newly colonised bacteria (1 h) were significantly more resistant to antibiotic than planktonic bacteria. Hexetidine was significantly more active (p<0.05) than ceftazidime on biofilms of both isolates, irrespective of age, with total kill within 24 h treatment. Hexetidine may offer promise in the resolution of infection associated with PVC endotracheal tubes.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 22, Issue 20, 15 October 2001, Pages 2741–2747