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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Prevention and minimisation of biofilms on urinary catheters and equipment

Currently Active: 

Biofilm development on urinary catheters is a major healthcare issue, leading to infection and blockage. Here we are using advanced microscopy and viability techniques to improve our understanding of biofilm development and persistence on urinary catheters.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most frequent cause of healthcare associated infections. The use of indwelling catheters increases the likelihood of infection, with long-term catheter use (> 30 days) resulting in an almost permanent bacterial colonisation. Catheter-associated UTIs can lead to serious problems such as pyelonephritis, urosepsis and the presence of drug-resistant microorganisms. Catheter blockage, following the formation of crystalline biofilms, can result in trauma and discomfort for patients, and an increased burden on healthcare resources.

In this project, we are using an inter-disciplinary approach to better understand biofilms on urinary catheters, using advanced imaging (such as episcopic differential interference contrast, EDIC, microscopy) and viability techniques. Using a combination of laboratory-based models and patient samples, we aim to improve our understanding of these biofilms, leading to improved treatment and prevention strategies.

Research Group Affiliations

Institute for Life Sciences & Continence & Skin Technology Group (Health Sciences)

Funding provider: Institute for Life Sciences & Health Sciences

Funding duration: Jan 2013-Ongoing

Related research groups

Environmental Biosciences
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