Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is commonly associated with microbial infection of orthopaedic implants. Such infections often lead to osteomyelitis, which may result in failure of the implant due to localised bone destruction. Bacterial adhesion and subsequent colonisation of the device may occur as a consequence of contamination during surgery, or by seeding from a distant site through the blood circulation. Coating of the hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramic component of artificial hip joints with the bisphosphonates clodronate (C) and pamidronate (P) has been proposed as a means to minimise osteolysis and thereby prevent loosening of the implant. However, the effect of the bisphosphonate coating on bacterial adhesion to the HA materials must be determined before this approach can be implemented. In this study coated HA materials were incubated with the S. aureus and the number of adherent bacteria determined using the Modified Vortex Device (MVD) method. The number of bacteria adherent to the P coated HA material was significantly greater than that adherent to uncoated HA (60-fold increase) or to the C coated HA (90-fold increase). Therefore, even though earlier studies suggested that P bound to HA may improve osseointegration, the results presented would suggest that the use of this coating may be limited by the potential increased susceptibility of the coated device to infection.
Ganguli, A., Steward, C., Butler, S. L., Phillips, G., Meikle, S., Lloyd, A., & Grant, M. H. (2005). Bacterial adhesion to bisphosphonate coated hydroxyapatite. Biomaterials, 16(4), 283-287. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10856-005-0625-x