New in vitro model evaluating antiseptics' efficacy in biofilm-associated Staphylococcus aureus prosthetic vascular graft infection

J Med Microbiol. 2019 Mar;68(3):432-439. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000939. Epub 2019 Feb 8.


Purpose: To develop a new in vitro model of prosthetic vascular graft infection (PVGI) and evaluate antimicrobial and biofilm-disrupting efficacy of 0.1% octenidine dihydrochloride, 10% povidone-iodine and 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate against biofilm-producing Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).

Methodology: The effect of antiseptics on the microscopic integrity and antimicrobial effect on S. aureus biofilms was tested by growing biofilms on glass coverslips, in the modified Lubbock chronic wound pathogenic biofilm (LCWPB) model and on the surface of vascular grafts using qualitive and quantitative methods as well as by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Results: Chlorhexidine worked best on destroying the integrity of S. aureus biofilms (P=0.002). In the LCWPB model, octenidine and povidone-iodine eradicated all S. aureus colonies (from 1.79 × 109 c.f.u. ml-1 to 0). In the newly developed PVGI model, the grafts were successfully colonized with biofilms as seen in SEM images. All antiseptics demonstrated significant antimicrobial efficacy, decreasing colony counts by seven orders of magnitude (P=0.002). Octenidine was superior to povidone-iodine (P=0.009) and chlorhexidine (P=0.041).

Conclusion: We implemented an innovative in vitro model on S. aureus biofilms grown in different settings, including a clinically challenging situation of PVGI. The strongest antimicrobial activity against S. aureus biofilms, grown on prosthetic vascular grafts, was showed by 0.1% octenidine dihydrochloride. We suggest that combinational therapy of antiseptics between chlorhexidine with either povidone-iodine or octenidine dihydrochloride should be tested in further experiments. Despite the need of further studies, our findings of these in vitro experiments will assist the management of vascular graft infection in clinical cases.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; antiseptic; biofilm; model; vascular graft infection.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Imines
  • Povidone-Iodine / pharmacology
  • Prostheses and Implants / microbiology*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / prevention & control
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Imines
  • Pyridines
  • Povidone-Iodine
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • octenidine
  • Chlorhexidine