Journal Article

Colicins prevent colonization of urinary catheters

Barbara W. Trautner, Richard A. Hull and Rabih O. Darouiche

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 56, issue 2, pages 413-415
Published in print August 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Colicins prevent colonization of urinary catheters

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  • Medical Oncology
  • Critical Care


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Objectives: Natural microbial defence systems, such as bacteriocins, may be a novel means to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection. We investigated in vitro whether a colicin-expressing strain of Escherichia coli could prevent urinary catheter colonization by a colicin-susceptible, uropathgenic strain of E. coli.

Methods: Segments of urinary catheter were inoculated with colicin-producing E. coli K-12 and then exposed to either colicin-susceptible E. coli (a uropathogenic clinical isolate) or colicin-resistant E. coli (derived from the susceptible clinical isolate). Catheters were then incubated overnight, rinsed and sonicated.

Results: The presence of colicin-producing E. coli K-12 on the catheter surface completely prevented catheter colonization by colicin-susceptible E. coli but not by resistant E. coli. The colicin-susceptible strain but not the colicin-resistant strain also disappeared from broth cultures in the presence of colicin-producing E. coli K-12.

Conclusions: The observed inhibition of catheter colonization by the uropathogenic clinical isolate of E. coli can be attributed to the presence of a colicin-producing strain of E. coli on the catheter surface. Bacteriocin production by a non-pathogenic organism may have clinical applicability as a means to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

Keywords: bacteriocins; UTIs; uropathogens

Journal Article.  1730 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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