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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria in the biofilm on voice prostheses

Voice rehabilitation with voice prostheses is a standard therapy in laryngectomized patients. Biofilm formation on the surface of the voice prostheses causes device failure and requires frequent replacements. Studies analyzing the biofilm of voice prostheses have mainly focused on fungi and aerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria as an integral part of the biofilms on voice prostheses have not been investigated yet.
Betl et al of the Department of Periodontology, Bernhard Gottlieb School of Dentistry, Vienna, Austria,  performed aprospective pilot study on the occurrence of anaerobic and microaerophilic pathogens in biofilm formation on voice prostheses.

Biofilm samples of 15 voice prostheses were analyzed using a polymerase chain reaction-based hybridization method, searching for the existence of 11 selected anaerobic and microaerophilic pathogens.
In 80% of the voice prostheses, at least one and up to 10 of the tested bacteria were identified. Fusobacterium nucleatum was the most common isolate (73%). Other frequently occurring pathogens were Treponema denticola (40%), Tannerella forsythia (33%), and Eikenella corrodens (33%). There was no correlation between the number of identified bacteria and the indwelling times (mean, 127 days; maximum, 344 days; minimum, 22 days).

This is the first study showing the presence of anaerobic and microaerophilic potential pathogens as part of the biofilm formation on the surface of voice prostheses. Further studies are warranted to find out if these organisms may be responsible for accelerated biofilm formation and reduced lifetime of the voice prostheses.

Anaerobic biofilm