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In vitro evidence for the anti-staphylococcal activity of a cationic polymer compound–preliminary results


In the context of a clinical trial, we observed a surprisingly high methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) eradication rate of a placebo solution containing a cationic polymeric compound (CPC). The most active compound altering bacterial growth was identified by testing individually all molecules entering the composition of the commercial solution.


To assess the inhibitory capacity of a decolonisation solution and determine the in vitro time kill curves of Prontoderm® (containing polyhexanide plus CPC) versus CPC alone and versus a control solution containing only excipients and emollients.


Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of all compounds entering in the composition of a decolonization solution were assessed by a macro-method in liquid medium, on MRSA strains from the prevalent lineage isolated in our institution. A constant and calibrated inoculum of MRSA was exposed to adapted concentrations (4-fold MIC) of inhibitory compounds in liquid medium. Aliquots were sampled serially at time 15 to 240 min and diluted before plating on nutrient agar medium. Survival cells were enumerated after 20 h incubation at 37°C.


In addition to polyhexanide, the decolonisation solution contained another compound showing activity on MRSA growth. Polyhexanide was rapidly bactericidal for all tested MRSA strains; a rapid decrease of >5 logs in 15 min was generally observed. CPC showed also a significant effect on MRSA development. The killing was slower than that observed with polyhexanide but reached 4 to 5 logs after 2 h exposure.


In addition to the active bactericidal compound, decolonization solution contains additives altering bacterial growth. The choice of a reliable placebo solution for comparison purposes in clinical trials should be adapted. Susceptibility of other relevant bacterial species, particularly multi-resistant pathogens, to the CPC should be evaluated.

Disclosure of interest

P. François: None declared, C. Landelle: None declared, A. Arndt Employee of: B-Braun Medical AG, E.-J. Bonetti: None declared, A. Renzoni: None declared, D. Pittet: None declared, S. Harbarth Grant/Research support from: B-Braun Medical AG.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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François, P., Landelle, C., Arndt, A. et al. In vitro evidence for the anti-staphylococcal activity of a cationic polymer compound–preliminary results. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 4 (Suppl 1), I3 (2015).

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