Journal of Gastrointestinal Infections

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 1 ( January-December, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Microbial Biofilms in Biliary and Pancreatic Stents

Chetana Vaishnavi, Nikhil Bush, Rakesh Kochhar

Keywords : Biliary stents, Biofilms, Microbial colonization, Occlusion, Pancreatic stents

Citation Information : Vaishnavi C, Bush N, Kochhar R. Microbial Biofilms in Biliary and Pancreatic Stents. J Gastrointest Infect 2020; 10 (1):11-15.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10068-3037

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 29-12-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Biofilms are formed by unicellular bacteria residing on a scaffold of exopolymeric substances and impart survival advantage to microbial communities from adverse environmental conditions. The formation of biofilms is an intricately ordered stepwise process. Biofilms can form on many medical implants where the body fluids supply adequate organic nutrients for the most favorable bacterial growth. The hydrophobicity of the surface influences the strength of adhesion and microorganisms are more likely to attach to non-polar hydrophobic surfaces, which make up stents. In general, the stent diameter, duration of stenting, contour and material determine the susceptibility of stents to biofilm-related occlusion. Occlusion of stents by microcolonies can result in increased rates of complications and therapeutic failure leading to an increased need for repeat procedures and hence cost of treatment. Despite several studies explicating the range of organisms involved in the formation of biofilms, the factors related to their formation in plastic stents have not been adequately elaborated. Biofilms cannot be detected by standard microbial culture techniques. Molecular diagnostics based on nucleic acid amplification techniques are the mainstay for detection and identification. The formation of microbial biofilms in bio prosthesis related to gastroenterology is an under studied arena. In this mini-review, we aim to discuss the formation of biofilms in biliary and pancreatic stents used for the management of biliary and pancreatic ductal obstructions to provide clinicians with information to optimize the safety and efficiency of stents.

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