The ability to form biofilm on the surface of implanted devices is often considered the most critical virulence factor possessed by Staphylococcus epidermidis in its role as an opportunistic pathogen in orthopaedic device-related infection (ODRI). Despite this recognition, there is a lack of clinical evidence linking outcome with biofilm forming ability for S. epidermidis ODRIs. We prospectively collected S. epidermidis isolates cultured from patients presenting with ODRI. Antibiotic resistance patterns and biofilm-forming ability was assessed. Patient information was collected and treatment outcome measures were determined after a mean follow-up period of 26 months. The primary outcome measure was cure at follow-up. Univariate logistic regression models were used to determine the influence of biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance on treatment outcome. A total of 124 patients were included in the study, a majority of whom (n = 90) involved infections of the lower extremity. A clear trend emerged in the lower extremity cohort whereby cure rates decreased as the biofilm-forming ability of the isolates increased (84% cure rate for infections caused by non-biofilm formers, 76% cure rate for weak biofilm-formers, and 60% cure rate for the most marked biofilm formers, p = 0.076). Antibiotic resistance did not influence treatment cure rate. Chronic immunosuppression was associated with a statistically significant decrease in cure rate (p = 0.044). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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