Skip to main content
In vitro efficacy of a polyhexamethylene biguanide-impregnated gauze dressing against bacteria found in veterinary patients
Veterinary Surgery (2004)
  • W R Lee
  • Karen M Tobias
  • David A Bemis
  • Barton W Rohrbach, Dr., University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Objective - To evaluate the in vitro efficacy of polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB)-impregnated gauze dressing in limiting the growth of bacteria both within and underneath the dressing. Study Design - In vitro study. Methods - Squares of PHMB-impregnated and control gauze were placed on agar plates inoculated with 1 of 11 bacterial species, including 8 multi-resistant organisms. Growth under the gauze was assessed qualitatively after 24-hour incubation. Repeated use of sponges was used to evaluate residual inhibitory activity against Micrococcus lutea and Staphylococcus schleiferi ss. schleiferi. In a second procedure, PHMB-impregnated and control gauze squares were placed in sterile plastic wells and inoculated with 1 of 5 bacterial species, including Pseudomonas spp. and Klebsiella spp. Inhibition of bacterial growth within and underneath the dressing after 24-hour incubation was evaluated by quantifying the numbers of bacteria on the well floor and within each square. Results - PHMB-impregnated gauze provided greater inhibition of growth of 4/4 Gram-positive species and 2/6 Gram-negative species on inoculated plates compared with control gauze. Residual inhibitory activity of PHMB-impregnated gauze was significantly greater against M. lutea on all days and against S. schleiferi ss. schleiferi on days 1 and 4 compared with control. No bacteria were recovered from inoculated PHMB-impregnated gauze squares placed in sterile wells or from the well floor underneath. More than 9*105 colony-forming units (CFU) were recovered from inoculated control samples placed in sterile wells and more than 8.4*104 CFU were recovered from control well floors. Conclusion - PHMB-impregnated gauze dressing, when placed on inoculated agar plates, reduces growth of underlying bacteria, particularly Gram-positive species. Wet-inoculated PHMB-impregnated dressing prevents growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria both within and underneath the dressing. Clinical Relevance - PHMB-impregnated dressings may be useful for reducing contamination of underlying wounds by bacterial pathogens.

  • bacterial diseases disease prevention surgery wound dressings Micrococcus luteus Pseudomonas Staphylococcus bacterial infections bacterioses gauze Staphylococcus schleiferi Micrococcus (Bacteria) Micrococcaceae Firmicutes bacteria prokaryotes Pseudomonadaceae Gracilicutes Staphylococcaceae Staphylococcus
Publication Date
Citation Information
W R Lee, Karen M Tobias, David A Bemis and Barton W Rohrbach. "In vitro efficacy of a polyhexamethylene biguanide-impregnated gauze dressing against bacteria found in veterinary patients" Veterinary Surgery Vol. 33 Iss. 4 (2004)
Available at: