The successful development of synthetic materials and introduction of artificial devices into nearly all body systems has been shadowed by the adaptation of microorganisms to the opportunities these devices afford for eluding defenses and invading the host. Clinicians are faced with the task of recognizing the manifestations of device-associated infection, predicting the likely pathogens involved, knowing the appropriate diagnostic methods, and initiating appropriate therapy. Infections associated with prosthetic heart valves are particularly challenging to successfully treat; surgical replacement may be necessary. Infection associated with an artificial joint usually requires removal of the device in addition to appropriate antibiotics. Intravascular associated infections are the leading cause of nosocomial bacteremias and, because of their intravascular location, these infections are often life catheter threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated. Even contact lenses, external to epithelial surfaces, may give rise to serious sight-threatening infections. Although artificial devices play a paramount role in medicine today, infection is an ever present potential with which clinicians must be familiar.
- prosthetic devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas