Studies on the Formation of Crystalline Bacterial Biofilms on Urethral Catheters

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1998 Sep;17(9):649-52. doi: 10.1007/BF01708349.


A model of the catheterised bladder was used to test the ability of urease-producing urinary tract pathogens to encrust urethral catheters. Encrustation was assessed by determining the amounts of calcium and magnesium deposited on the catheters and visualised by scanning electron microscopy. Urease-positive Morganella morganii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa failed to raise the urinary pH and form crystalline biofilms. In contrast, strains of Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, and Providencia rettgeri generated alkaline urine (pH 8.3-8.6) and extensive catheter encrustation within 24 h.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology*
  • Crystallization
  • Enterobacteriaceae / physiology*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Magnesium / analysis*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology
  • Urinary Catheterization*
  • Urine


  • Magnesium
  • Calcium