Microbiology & Immunology Publications


XPS and SEM detection of surface changes on 64 ureteral stents after human usage

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology





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Morphological and microbiological techniques were used to locate and identify the microorganisms that colonized the human ileal conduits in 17 different patients from 5 days after surgery up to as many as 16 years of service as a urine conduit. The ecological sequence of this colonization assumes some practical importance because the ascending growth of pathogenic organisms in this essentially open, unvalved urinary tract diversion system leads to the development of life-threatening pyelonephritis. Extensive examination of the microvillus surfaces of the ilea of five accident victims by both transmission and scanning electron microscopy showed that these tissue surfaces were not colonized by bacteria, even in the absence of prophylactic antibiotic therapy, and that these surfaces were not occupied by adherent microorganisms after several years of service as a urine conduit, even when the skin surface stoma and the conduit contents were heavily colonized by bacteria and yeasts. During the initial period (10 days) of postoperative antibiotic therapy, the mucus and urine within the conduit were largely colonized by yeasts. A mixed population of yeasts and gram-positive cocci subsequently developed in the conduit itself, and gram-positive cocci were seen to be avidly adherent to epidermal cells at the stoma. As antibiotic protection was gradually withdrawn, gram-negative organisms became a part of the mixed microbial flora of the conduit contents, and some of the potentially pathogenic organisms of this group (e.g., Escherichia spp., Proteus spp., Pseudomonas spp., etc.) were isolated from patients with pyelonephritis that appeared to come from the ileal conduit. This study of the natural microbial ecology of this surgical urinary tract diversion is intended to provide a rational basis for the manipulation of the ileal conduit to make use of competitive microbial exclusion to protect patients with ileal conduits from ascending infections.

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