The Bacterial biofilms in Dialysis Water systems and the Effect of the sub Inhibitory Concentrations of chlorine on them
Dr. Ethel Suman,
Department of Microbiology
Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore,
Manipal University, Karnataka State, India.
Phone: 91- 0824-2423452(O)
91- 0824-2225130(R), 91-9448134135 (Mobile)
Introduction: The presence of bacteria in the form of biofilms poses a problem in the fluid pathways of haemodialysis plants and procedures which are aimed to detach and neutralize biofilms are necessary to improve the patient safety and the quality of the healthcare. The present study was therefore aimed at isolating the organisms which colonized dialysis water systems as biofilms, as well as to study the effect of the sub inhibitory concentrations of chlorine on the biofilms which were produced by these isolates.
Methods: Swabs were used to collect the biofilms which were produced on the internal surface of the dialysis tubing from the dialysis units. This study was conducted at the Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangalore, India. The cultures were performed on MacConkeyâ€™s agar and blood agar. The organisms which were isolated were identified and antibiotic sensitivity tests were performed. The biofilm production was done by the microtitre plate method of Oâ€™Toole and Kolter. The biofilm production was also studied in the presence of sub inhibitory concentrations of chlorine.
Results: Acinetobacter spp and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the two predominant organisms which colonized the dialysis water systems as biofilms. The sub inhibitory concentrations of chlorine did not bring about any decrease in the biofilm production by the isolates. On the contrary, there was an increase in the biofilm production.
Conclusion: Our study highlighted the importance of using appropriate methods to improve the quality of the water in dialysis units. This in turn, may help in reducing the biofilm formation in the water systems of dialysis units and thus, contribute to the prevention of hospital acquired infections in the patients who need haemodialysis.