A rat model was used to investigate the efficacy of mupirocin in the prevention of vascular prosthetic graft infections. The effect of mupirocin-soaked Dacron was compared with the effect of rifampin-soaked, collagen-sealed Dacron in the rat model of graft infection caused by methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Graft infections were established in the back subcutaneous tissue of 195 adult male Wistar rats by implantation of 1-cm2 Dacron prostheses followed by topical inoculation with 5 × 107 colony-forming units of S. aureus. The study included a control group (no graft contamination), two contaminated groups that did not receive any antibiotic prophylaxis, two contaminated groups in which perioperative intraperitoneal amoxicillin clavulanate prophylaxis (50 mg/kg) was administered, four contaminated groups that received mupirocin- or rifampin-soaked graft, and four contaminated groups that received mupirocin, or rifampin-soaked graft and perioperative intraperitoneal amoxicillin clavulanate prophylaxis (50 mg/kg). The grafts were sterilely removed 7 days after implantation and the infection was evaluated by using sonication and quantitative agar culture. Data analysis showed that the efficacy of mupirocin against both strains was significantly different from that of the untreated control. In addition, mupirocin was more effective than rifampin against the methicillin.resistant strain. Finally, only the combination of mupirocin and amoxicillin clavulanate produced complete suppression of growth of all strains.
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