Use of pulsed field gel electrophoresis to determine the source of microbial contamination of central venous catheters

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases : Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology
M A LivesleyT S Elliott


Microorganisms detected in situ on the distal tip of central venous catheters (CVC) within 90 min of insertion were investigated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to analyse genomic fragments obtained with the SmaI restriction enzyme. Thirty patients received a triple lumen CVC, which was inserted directly through the skin using the Seldinger technique. In a further 30 patients a triple lumen CVC was inserted through a Swan sheath, thereby avoiding direct contact of the CVC with the skin. Staphylococci were isolated from the distal tips of the catheters in 6 patients (5 who had the CVC inserted directly through the skin and 1 who had the CVC inserted via a Swan sheath.) Twenty-three staphylococcal isolates were also isolated from the insertion equipment and the skin swabs surrounding the insertion site of these six patients. All the isolates were genotyped. In one of the patients the organisms isolated from the skin were identical to those on the CVC tip. In two further patients similar organisms were isolated from the insertion equipment and the patients' skin. These results, in addition to the reduced colonisation rates observed when catheters were introduced through a Swan sheath, support the hypothesis that microorgani...Continue Reading


Apr 15, 1992·FEMS Microbiology Letters·B LinaJ Fleurette
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