Urinary catheters contamination by microorganisms is a major cause of hospital acquired infections and represents a limitation for long-term use. In this work, biofilms of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli clinical isolates were developed on urinary catheters for 48 and 72 h in artificial urine medium (AUM) with different molecular weight chitosans (AUM-CS solutions) at pH 5.0. The number of viable bacteria was determined by standard plate count agar while crystal violet (CV) staining was carried out to assess biomass production (optical density at 570 nm) in the mentioned conditions. Re-growth of each strain was also evaluated after 24 h re-incubation of the treated catheters. Significant decreases of log CFU/catheter and biomass production were observed for all the biofilms developed in AUM-CS compared with the controls in AUM. The percentages of biofilm removal were slightly higher for E. coli biofilms (up to 90.4%) than those of K. pneumoniae (89.7%); in most cases, the complete inhibition of bacterial re-growth on treated catheter pieces was observed. Contact time influenced chitosan efficacy rather than its molecular weight or the biofilms age. The results confirmed the potentiality of chitosans as a biomacromolecule tool to contrast biofilm formation and reduce bacterial re-growth on urinary catheters.
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