The selection of appropriate bacterial strains in preclinical evaluation of infection-resistant biomaterials

D. Campoccia, L. Montanaro, T. F. Moriarty, R. G. Richards, S. Ravaioli, Carla Renata Arciola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implant-related infections are broadly recognized as one of the most serious and devastating complications associated with the use of biomaterials in medical practice. The growing interest and need for the development of implant materials with reduced susceptibility to microbial colonization and biofilm formation has necessitated the development of a series of in vitro and in vivo models for evaluation and preclinical testing. Current technologies provide these investigations with an ample choice of qualitative and quantitative techniques for an accurate assessment of the bioactivity and anti-infective efficacy of any new compound or device. These tests are typically performed using a reference bacterial strain designated as the test or reference strain. Recent molecular epidemiological studies have identified the complex clonal nature of most prevalent etiological agents implicated in implant-associated infections. New information which is continually emerging on the identity and the characteristics of both sporadic and epidemic clones must be considered when selecting a reference. A new emerging requirement is that the strain should be representative of the clones causing clinically relevant infections; they should, therefore, belong to the most prevalent epidemic clones rather than to sporadic ones, which may occur in only 1 out of 200 infections or even fewer. The correct choice of reference strain for preclinical tests is of crucial importance for the clinical significance of the achieved results. In this paper we report our experience and recommendations regarding this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-847
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • Anti-infective materials
  • Bioactive biomaterials
  • Infection-resistant surfaces
  • Preclinical test methods
  • Prosthesis-related infections
  • Reference strains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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