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Bacterial adherence to surgical sutures: can antibacterial-coated sutures reduce the risk of microbial contamination? J Am Coll Surg 2006 Oct;203(4):481-9



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-33748801970   153 Citations


BACKGROUND: Surgical site infections are associated with severe morbidity and mortality. The role of surgical sutures in the etiology of surgical site infection has been the objective of discussion for decades. This study used a standardized in vitro microbiologic model to assess bacterial adherence and the antibacterial activity of a triclosan-coated polyglactin 910 (braided) suture against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative clinical isolates that may infect surgical wounds.

STUDY DESIGN: Standardized cultures (2.0 log(10) colony forming units/mL and 5.0 log(10) colony forming units/mL of three clinical strains, Staphyllococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant S aureus [MRSA]), S epidermidis (biofilm-positive) and Escherichia coli (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase [ESBL]-producer) were inoculated to triclosan-coated and noncoated polyglactin 910 sutures to evaluate comparative adherence of bacterial isolates to the antibacterial coated and noncoated surgical sutures; to assess the impact of serum proteins (bovine serum albumin) on antibacterial activity of triclosan-coated suture; and to document the duration of antibacterial activity of the triclosan-coated material. Selected suture samples were prepared for scanning electron microscopy to demonstrate bacterial adherence.

RESULTS: Substantial (p < 0.01) reductions in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial adherence were observed on triclosan-coated sutures compared with noncoated material. Pretreatment of surgical sutures with 20% BSA did not diminish antibacterial activity of the triclosan-coated braided device compared with noncoated suture (p < 0.01), and antibacterial activity was documented to persist for at least 96 hours compared with controls (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The in vitro model demonstrated a considerable reduction (p < 0.01) in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial adherence to a triclosan-coated braided suture, which was associated with decreased microbial viability (p < 0.001). Because bacterial contamination of suture material within a surgical wound may increase the virulence of a surgical site infection, treating the suture with triclosan provides an effective strategy for reducing perioperative surgical morbidity.

Author List

Edmiston CE, Seabrook GR, Goheen MP, Krepel CJ, Johnson CP, Lewis BD, Brown KR, Towne JB


Kellie R. Brown MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Christopher P. Johnson MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Brian D. Lewis MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Gary R. Seabrook MD Chief, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Bacterial Adhesion
Coated Materials, Biocompatible
Escherichia coli
In Vitro Techniques
Polyglactin 910
Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus epidermidis
jenkins-FCD Prod-468 69a93cef3257f26b866d455c1d2b2d0f28382f14