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Biol Pharm Bull. 2000 Jun;23(6):781-3.

Microbial contamination of in-use lubricants for non-touch urethral catheters in intermittent self-catheterization.

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Department of Pharmacy, Yamaguchi University Hospital, Ube, Japan.


There are no reports on microbial contamination of repeatedly used lubricant (84-87% glycerin containing 0.02% benzalkonium chloride) for non-touch urethral catheters in intermittent self-catheterization. In this work, we evaluated microbial contamination of in-use lubricant and its prevention. Between September and December, 1996, microbial contamination and water activity of in-use lubricants in sheathed and lubricated non-touch catheters connected to a tube used by 46 outpatients at our hospital was examined. Microbial contamination was detected at 5 to 2.6 x 10(8) colony-forming units (CFU)/ml in 14 (30.4%) of 46 samples. With higher water activity of the lubricant (a higher dilution rate of the lubricant with water), a higher concentration of microbial contamination was observed. In 3 (21.4%) of the 14 patients using contaminated lubricant, urine samples showed the same microbial species as those detected in the lubricant. To prevent microbial contamination of the lubricant, dilution of the lubricant with water, as a result of repeated use, should be avoided.

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