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Growth of Escherichia coli in propofol, lidocaine, and mixtures of propofol and lidocaine

Growth of Escherichia coli in propofol, lidocaine, and mixtures of propofol and lidocaine

Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 43(4): 476-479

Background: Microorganisms grow rapidly in propofol. Extrinsic contamination of propofol is thought to be a source of postoperative sepsis and wound infection. We studied growth of a strain of Escherichia coli in thiopental, propofol, lidocaine, and mixtures of propofol and lidocaine. Methods: The pathogen was exposed to 2.5% thiopental; 1.0% propofol; 1.0%, 2.0% and 4.0% preservative-free lidocaine; and propofol solutions containing 0.25%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, or 4.0% lidocaine for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 h at room temperature, respectively. The inocula from these suspensions were cultured for 48 h at 37degreeC after the antimicrobial activity of the local anesthetics in the inocula was inactivated by a 1:1000 dilution with distilled water. Results: No organisms grew after exposure to 2.5% thiopental. The exposure of E. coli to propofol increased the colony count to approximately 90 times the control count. The colony counts of E. coli after exposure to 1.0%, 2.0% and 4.0% lidocaine and 0.25%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0% and 4.0% lidocaine in 1.0% propofol were lower than the counts after exposure to 1.0% propofol (P= 0.0048, 0.0027, 0.0003, 0.0503, 0.0188, 0.0080, 0.0044, and 0.0001, respectively). The growth rate of the microorganism was significantly higher in cultures exposed to 1.0% propofol than that in cultures exposed to lidocaine alone or lidocaine-propofol mixtures (P<0.0001, respectively). Conclusion: Lidocaine possesses bacteriostatic activity against E. coli. Addition of lidocaine to propofol confers its bacteriostatic activity to the mixture and may decrease the hazard of infection associated with the extrinsic contamination of propofol.

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Accession: 010727457

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10225084

DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-6576.1999.430418.x

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