Silver iontophoretic catheter: a prototype of a long-term antiinfective vascular access device

J Infect Dis. 1996 Feb;173(2):495-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/173.2.495.


A silver iontophoretic catheter (SIC) was developed consisting of two electrically charged parallel silver wires helically wrapped around the proximal segment of a vascular catheter. In vitro and in vivo activities of this catheter were compared with those of an aseptic catheter coated with chlorhexidine and silver sulfadiazine (CH/SS). The SIC demonstrated broad-spectrum in vitro inhibitory activity against bacteria and Candida albicans comparable to that of the CH/SS-coated catheter. The durability of activity was determined by incubating catheters in serum at 37 degrees C for various time intervals. After 30 days, the antimicrobial activity of the SIC did not change significantly, while that of the CH/SS-coated catheter was reduced to a suboptimal level. In a rabbit model, the SIC was safe and significantly more efficacious than the CH/SS-coated catheter in preventing colonization with Staphylococcus aureus (P < .05). The SIC has broad-spectrum inhibitory activity of long durability and is highly efficacious in preventing colonization in vivo.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology
  • Bacteremia / etiology
  • Bacteremia / prevention & control
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / methods
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Drug Combinations
  • Iontophoresis*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Rabbits
  • Silver Sulfadiazine / pharmacology
  • Silver*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Drug Combinations
  • Silver
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Silver Sulfadiazine