In a 1-year multicenter study the microbial colonization of 1154 central venous catheters (CVCs) was investigated. Catheters explanted either from immunocompromised or immunocompetent patients were collected and analyzed by five clinical microbiology laboratories located in Ancona, Aviano, Catania, Pavia and Rome, Italy. A further aim was to investigate, by scanning electron microscopy, the features of currently used catheters, both new and explanted from patients, analyzing their surface quality, the influence of the host protein biofilm on their microbial colonization, the modifications caused by their permanence in the body and the relationship between these factors and the occurrence of infections.
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