Staphylococcus epidermidisdevice-related infections: pathogenesis and clinical management

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Staphylococcus epidermidis, the most frequently isolated coagulase-negative staphylococcus, is the leading cause of infection related to implanted medical devices (IMDs). This is directly related to its capability to establish multilayered, highly structured biofilms on artificial surfaces. At present, conventional systemic therapies using standard antimicrobial agents represent the main strategy to treat and prevent medical device-associated infections. However, device-related infections are notoriously difficult to treat and bacteria within biofilm communities on the surface of IMDs frequently outlive treatment, and removal of the medical device is often required for successful therapy. Importantly, major advances in this research area have been made, leading to a greater understanding of the complexities of biofilm formation of S. epidermidis and resulting in significant developments in the treatment and prevention of infections related to this member of the coagulase-negative group of staphylococci. This review will examine the pathogenesis of the clinically significant S. epidermidis and provide an overview of the conventional and emerging antibiofilm approaches in the management of medical device-associated infections related to this important nosocomial pathogen.

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