Use of an Antimicrobial Dressing With Chlorhexidine Gluconate is Shown to Prevent Infection and Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Strains of Bacteria Associated With Catheter Use

SOMERVILLE, N.J. -- The use of an antimicrobial dressing that includes chlorhexidine gluconate has been shown to have an antimicrobial effect against a variety of infectious agents often associated with the use of catheters and other percutaneous devices. Study results recently published in the peer-reviewed publication Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology showed that treatment with these dressings could be an effective therapy against a range of infectious agents including antibiotic-resistant strains of staphylococci and enterococci. 


In this study researchers evaluated the effectiveness of BIOPATCH dressing, a sterile polyurethane foam with 250 micrograms of chlorhexidine gluconate per milligram of disc, in activity against the primary organisms associated with infections related to the use of catheters  or other percutaneous devices. Researchers compared the effectiveness of BIOPATCH dressing to the use of sterile polyurethane foam without chorhexidine gluconate against antibiotic-resistant clinical isolates and ten of the most common organisms found in percutaneous device-related infections. 


The use of chlorhexidine gluconate foam led to consistent zones of inhibition against all challenge organisms, indicating that infectious agents were killed or inhibited by the chlorhexidine gluconate.  No zones of inhibition were observed in foam that did not include chlorhexidine gluconate. 


The results of this in vitro study indicated that the polyurethane foam with chlorhexidine gluconate is efficacious against infectious agents associated with the use of percutaneous catheters.  Importantly, this treatment was shown to be effective against antibiotic-resistant infectious agents that represent some of the most serious health risks for patients treated with catheters, said Shubhangi Bhende, MS, corporate microbiology and sterilization services, ETHICON, INC.


Whenever intact skin is interrupted, treatment involving subcutaneous devices is known to create a tract along which microorganisms can enter the body and cause infection. The most common cause of catheter-related infection is Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis).  Microbial infections, especially those involving antibiotic-resistant strains of microorganisms, can complicate treatment and increase both the risks and the healthcare costs associated with the use of catheters in patients. 


Researchers at the Department of Health Policy at Jefferson Medical School recently estimated that, in the United States, up to 3,900 patient lives and close to $2 billion could be saved each year because of catheter-related infections if an antimicrobial dressing containing chlorhexidine gluconate was universally adopted.




This study provides us with further support for the prophylactic use of antimicrobial dressing that includes chlorhexidine gluconate in helping to reduce the risk of catheter-related infection for thousands of patients each year who are treated with catheters and other percutaneous therapies, said Bhende.


This study was an in vitro assessment of chlorhexidine gluconate-impregnated polyurethane foam antimicrobial dressing using zone of inhibition assays.  The microbial challenge consisted of clinical isolates including methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis and S. aureus; E.faecalis; vancomycin-resistant E. faecium;  C. albicans;  and  Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Consistent zones of inhibition were observed under and around the chlorhexidine treatment foam for all of the challenge organisms. The study was funded by Johnson & Johnson Wound Management, a division of ETHICON, INC., distributors of BIOPATCH dressing.


The dressing is treated with chlorhexidine gluconate, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and anti-fungal agent, that is released for up to seven days.  When applied to any percutaneous catheter site, the dressing helps reduce catheter tip colonization and bloodstream infection.  In addition, the dressing can absorb up to eight times its own weight in fluid and provides a one-inch zone of inhibition from the insertion site.


The safety and effectiveness of BIOPATCH Antimicrobial Dressing has not been established in children under 16 years of age. The dressing should not be used on premature infants or on patients with a known sensitivity to chlorhexidine gluconate.


Johnson & Johnson Wound Management, a division of ETHICON, INC., a Johnson & Johnson company, continues Johnson & Johnsons 100-year commitment to wound care today with inventive products for chronic and acute wound management and hemostasis. 


Source: Johnson & Johnson Wound Management