Movement of pseudomonas aeruginosa along catheter surfaces. A mechanism in pathogenesis of catheter-associated infection

Urology. 1992 Jan;39(1):93-8. doi: 10.1016/0090-4295(92)90053-y.


The etiologic mechanism involved in the establishment of catheter-associated bacteriuria is suggested in this in vitro study of the movement of Pseudomonas aeruginosa along a catheter surface against a flowing artificial urine milieu in the presence and absence of antibiotics. Following a lag phase, during which a bacterial biofilm becomes firmly established at a site of contamination, the bacteria ascend the surface of the Foley catheters in a rapidly expanding coherent biofilm. The speed of the bacterial ascent is increased as a result of turbulence-associated planktonic saltatory bacterial movement within the urine column. Bacteriocidal concentrations of antibiotics in the urine can slow down the bacterial ascent, but they do not preclude it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Equipment Contamination*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / ultrastructure
  • Tobramycin / pharmacology


  • Tobramycin