Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Potential clinical value of catheters impregnated with antimicrobials for the prevention of infections associated with peritoneal dialysis

Taal, Maarten W.; Dukka, Hari; Bayston, Roger

Potential clinical value of catheters impregnated with antimicrobials for the prevention of infections associated with peritoneal dialysis Thumbnail


Hari Dukka

Roger Bayston


Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a widely used dialysis modality, which offers the advantage of being a home therapy but is associated with a risk of potentially serious infections, including exit site infection, catheter tunnel infection, and peritonitis that may result in morbidity, technique failure, and increased mortality. Catheters impregnated with antimicrobials hold promise as a novel technique to reduce PD associated infections.

Areas Covered
We describe PD modalities, catheters, technique, complications, and the microbiology of associated infections, as well as standard measures to reduce the risk of infection. A novel technique for the impregnation of silicone devices with antimicrobial agents has been used to produce antimicrobial impregnated ventricular shunt catheters with proven clinical efficacy that have now been adopted as the standard of care to reduce neurosurgical infections. Using the same technology, we have developed PD and urinary catheters impregnated with sparfloxacin, triclosan, and rifampicin. Safety and tolerability have been demonstrated in urinary catheters, and a similar study is planned in PD catheters.

Expert Opinion
Catheters impregnated with antimicrobials offer a simple technique to reduce PD associated infections and thereby enable more people to enjoy the advantages of PD. Clinical trials are needed to establish efficacy.

Lay summary
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a type of treatment for kidney failure. To perform PD, a silicone tube is placed in the abdomen and the other end exits through the skin. Fluid is run into the abdomen via the tube and then drained out again after 1–12 hours. This process is repeated multiple times per day. Toxins and other waste chemicals normally removed by the kidneys enter the fluid, while it is in the abdomen and are then removed from the body when the fluid is drained out. In this way, PD partially replaces kidney function. Sometimes bacteria get into the tube, and this can cause serious infections in the abdomen. At present, measures available to prevent PD tube infections include careful hygiene when handling the tube, application of antibiotic creams or ointments to the exit site or treatment with antibiotics at the time of medical procedures that may increase infection risk. Despite these measures, peritonitis (abdominal infection) is one of the most common causes of people having to stop PD and change to another form of dialysis that involves direct filtration of the blood (hemodialysis). Frequent use of antibiotics may also cause the bacteria that cause peritonitis to become resistant to antibiotics. There is, therefore, an urgent need to develop new ways to prevent PD tube infections. Tubes have been used in patients who have a particular type of brain surgery with antibiotics introduced into the material that the tube is made from, and in these patients, the risk of infection has been reduced by 60–80%. The same technology is also being tested for urine tubes that are placed in the bladder and tubes used for PD. These urine tubes and PD tubes need further testing to establish safety and effectiveness. Though our experience with them leads us to expect that they are safe, the authorities that control new drugs and devices require us to show this beyond doubt before they can be introduced into routine care.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2023
Online Publication Date May 3, 2023
Publication Date May 3, 2023
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 17, 2023
Journal Expert Review of Medical Devices
Print ISSN 1743-4440
Electronic ISSN 1745-2422
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 6
Pages 459-466
Keywords Antimicrobials; catheter; impregnation; peritonitis; peritoneal dialysis
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations