Although there is some clinical evidence of ceramic bearings being associated with a lower infection rate after total hip arthroplasty (THA), available data remains controversial since this surface is usually reserved for young, healthy patients. Therefore, we investigated the influence of five commonly used biomaterials on the adhesion potential of four biofilm-producing bacteria usually detected in infected THAs.
Ceramic biomaterials exhibit less bacterial adherence than other biomaterials.
Material and methods
In this in vitro research, we evaluated the ability of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 35984, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to adhere to the surface of a cobalt-chromium metal head, a fourth-generation ceramic head, a fourth-generation ceramic insert, a highly-crossed linked polyethylene insert and a titanium porous-coated acetabular component. After an initial washing step, bacterial separation from the surface of each specimen was done with a vortex agitator. The colony-forming units were counted to determine the number of viable adherent bacteria.
We found no differences on global bacterial adhesion between the different surfaces (p=0.5). E. coli presented the least adherence potential among the analysed pathogens (p<0.001). The combination of E. coli and S. epidermidis generated an antagonist effect over the adherence potential of S. epidermidis individually (58±4% vs. 48±5%; p=0.007). The combination of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus presented a trend to an increased adherence of P. aeruginosa independently, suggesting an agonist effect (71% vs. 62%; p=0.07).
Ceramic bearings appeared not to be related to a lower bacterial adhesion than other biomaterials. However, different adhesive potentials among bacteria may play a major role on infection's inception.
Level of evidence
IV, in vitro study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Biomaterials, Total hip arthroplasty, Infection, Bacterial adhesion