Background: Urinary catheterization, even of short duration, increases the risk of subsequent urinary tract infection (UTI). Whether the bacteria found on the surface of catheters placed for <3 days are associated with UTI risk is unknown. Methods: We screened the biofilms found on the extraluminal surface of 127 catheters placed for <3 days in women undergoing elective gynecologic surgery, using targeted quantitative polymerase chain reaction and an untargeted 16S rRNA taxonomic screen. Results: Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Enterococcus spp were found on virtually all catheters and lactic acid bacteria in most catheters regardless of duration, but neither genus was associated with UTI development during follow-up. Enterococcus, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus were the most commonly identified genera in the taxonomic screen but were not associated with subsequent UTIs. Although the most common cause of UTI following catheter removal was Escherichia coli, detectable E coli on the catheter surface was not associated with subsequent UTIs. Conclusions: Our analysis does not suggest that the presence of bacteria on the surface of catheters placed for <3 days leads to subsequent UTIs. Other aspects of catheter care are likely more important than preventing bacterial colonization of the catheter surface for preventing UTIs following short-term catheter placement.
- Escherichia coli
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases