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.
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).
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.