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Impact of catheter antimicrobial coating on species-specific risk of catheter colonization: a meta-analysis

Aleksey Novikov1, Manuel Y Lam1, Leonard A Mermel23*, Anna L Casey4, Tom S Elliott4 and Peter Nightingale5

Author Affiliations

1 Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Brown, USA

2 Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Brown, USA

3 Division of Infectious Diseases, Rhode Island Hospital, Rhode Island, 593 Eddy St., Providence, RI 02903, USA

4 Department of Clinical Microbiology, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

5 Wolfson Computer Laboratory, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2012, 1:40  doi:10.1186/2047-2994-1-40

Published: 3 December 2012



Antimicrobial catheters have been utilized to reduce risk of catheter colonization and infection. We aimed to determine if there is a greater than expected risk of microorganism-specific colonization associated with the use of antimicrobial central venous catheters (CVCs).


We performed a meta-analysis of 21 randomized, controlled trials comparing the incidence of specific bacterial and fungal species colonizing antimicrobial CVCs and standard CVCs in hospitalized patients.


The proportion of all colonized minocycline-rifampin CVCs found to harbor Candida species was greater than the proportion of all colonized standard CVCs found to have Candida. In comparison, the proportion of colonized chlorhexidine-silver sulfadiazine CVCs specifically colonized with Acinetobacter species or diphtheroids was less than the proportion of similarly colonized standard CVCs. No such differences were found with CVCs colonized with staphylococci.


Commercially-available antimicrobial CVCs in clinical use may become colonized with distinct microbial flora probably related to their antimicrobial spectrum of activity. Some of these antimicrobial CVCs may therefore have limited additional benefit or more obvious advantages compared to standard CVCs for specific microbial pathogens. The choice of an antimicrobial CVC may be influenced by a number of clinical factors, including a previous history of colonization or infection with Acinetobacter, diphtheroids, or Candida species.

Central venous catheter; Catheter colonization; Catheter-related bloodstream infection; Central line-associated bloodstream infection; Bacteremia; Antimicrobial catheter