Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential new strategy to reduce catheter blockage

Date:
April 13, 2011
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Bacterial genes that make urine less acidic could be good targets to prevent catheter blockage, according to new research. The findings could lead to new strategies to prevent serious infections, particularly in long-term catheterization patients.

This is a phase contrast micrograph of a multicellular raft of P. mirabilis swarmer cells migrating over LB agar.
Credit: Dr. Brian V. Jones, University of Brighton

Bacterial genes that make urine less acidic could be good targets to prevent catheter blockage, according to research presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate. The findings could lead to new strategies to prevent serious infections, particularly in long-term catheterization patients.

Urinary catheters are devices used in hospitals and community care homes to manage a range of bladder conditions, and are commonly used to manage incontinence in elderly individuals for long periods of time. Scientists from the University of Brighton, led by Dr Brian Jones, are looking at the bacterium Proteus mirabilis -- a common cause of urinary tract infections in patients undergoing long-term catheterization, which often leads to serious complications.

P. mirabilis cells can stick together on catheter surfaces where they form highly organized communities called biofilms. As the bacterium breaks down urea (using the enzyme urease) it causes the pH of urine to rise, leading to the formation of insoluble crystals which become trapped in the growing biofilm. The crystalline deposits can form a crust on the catheter and may eventually block urine flow from the bladder. If unnoticed, catheter blockage can lead to kidney and bloodstream infections, which ultimately may result in potentially fatal septic shock.

The team is identifying genes involved in P. mirabilis biofilm formation, and assessing their contribution to catheter blockage. The results show that biofilm-forming ability may be less important to catheter blockage than previously thought, and suggest that inhibiting the rise in urinary pH is a primary target for preventing catheter blockage. Nina Holling who is carrying out the research said, "In our experiments we have found biofilm-forming ability not to be the most important factor in catheter blockage. Although biofilm formation does play a role, the ability of P. mirabilis to increase urinary pH and form crystals seems to compensate for deficiencies in biofilm formation. However, much more work is required to fully understand the progression of these infections and biofilm formation may be more important in the early stages of infection."

Ms Holling explained the significance of the team's work. "Long-term catheterization is linked with an increased mortality rate among nursing home patients, and effective strategies to control these infections are urgently required," she said. "A greater understanding of how P. mirabilis forms biofilms and behaves within them will be important in developing such strategies. In the longer term, this would greatly benefit patients undergoing long-term catheterization by eliminating painful recurrent infections, which greatly reduce quality of life. In addition, the financial savings to the NHS would be significant."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Potential new strategy to reduce catheter blockage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412201711.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2011, April 13). Potential new strategy to reduce catheter blockage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412201711.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Potential new strategy to reduce catheter blockage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412201711.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins