Implant infections: adhesion, biofilm formation and immune evasion

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Medical device-associated infections account for a large proportion of hospital-acquired infections. A variety of opportunistic pathogens can cause implant infections, depending on the type of the implant and on the anatomical site of implantation. The success of these versatile pathogens depends on rapid adhesion to virtually all biomaterial surfaces and survival in the hostile host environment. Biofilm formation on implant surfaces shelters the bacteria and encourages persistence of infection. Furthermore, implant-infecting bacteria can elude innate and adaptive host defences as well as biocides and antibiotic chemotherapies. In this Review, we explore the fundamental pathogenic mechanisms underlying implant infections, highlighting orthopaedic implants and Staphylococcus aureus as a prime example, and discuss innovative targets for preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-409
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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