Biofilm-related infections of cerebrospinal fluid shunts

Fux, C A; Quigley, M; Worel, A M; Post, C; Zimmerli, S; Ehrlich, G; Veeh, R H (2006). Biofilm-related infections of cerebrospinal fluid shunts. Clinical microbiology and infection, 12(4), pp. 331-7. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2006.01361.x

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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts carry a high risk of complications. Infections represent a major cause of shunt failure. Diagnosis and therapy of such infections are complicated by the formation of bacterial biofilms attached to shunt surfaces. This study correlated the pathophysiology and clinical course of biofilm infections with microscopical findings on the respective shunts. Surface irregularities, an important risk-factor for shunt colonisation with bacteria, were found to increase over time because of silicone degradation. Scanning electron-microscopy (SEM) documented residual biological material (dead biofilm), which can further promote extant bacterial adhesion, on newly manufactured shunts. Clinical course and SEM both documented bacterial dissemination against CSF flow and the monodirectional valve. In all cases, biofilms grew on both the inner and outer surfaces of the shunts. Microscopy and conventional culture detected all bacterial shunt infections. Analyses of 16S rDNA sequences using conserved primers identified bacteria in only one of three cases, probably because of previous formalin fixation of the samples.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Fux, Christoph Andreas, Zimmerli, Stephan






Blackwell Publishing




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:22

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URI: (FactScience: 1046)

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