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Infection. 1999;27 Suppl 1:S74-7.

Catheter-associated infections in urology: possible use of silver-impregnated catheters and the Erlanger silver catheter.

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Urologische Klinik mit Poliklinik, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.


Indwelling urinary catheters play a very important part in urology. However, their use is accompanied by a considerable increase in the risk of nosocomial urinary tract infections. The pathophysiological cause is ascribed to pathogens that adhere to the catheter surface, proliferate and produce a biofilm. In addition to aseptic techniques, modification of the catheter material to confer antimicrobial activity plays an essential part in the prevention of catheter-related urinary tract infections. The antimicrobial efficacy of silver against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria is well known and amply shown in vitro. The efficacy of silver-impregnated catheters is critically dependent on both the chemical structure of the incorporated silver and the way the silver has been combined with the basic catheter material. Hence, clinical studies on silver-modified catheters have so far given inconsistent results. The new technology of the Erlanger silver catheter offers the opportunity of an effective reduction in catheter-related infections.

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