Biodynamics of biofilm formation on nasogastric tubes in elderly patients

Arthur Leibovitz, Yehuda Baumoehl, Doron Steinberg, Refael Segal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: We previously reported on the high propensity of pathogenic oral flora in the oropharynx of nasogastric tubefed patients, and subsequently showed biofilm formation on the NGTs of these patients. There is a close relationship of biofilm and oropharyngeal colonization with pathogenic bacteria, aspiration pneumonia and antibiotic resistance. Objectives: To investigate the time relation between the insertion of a new NGT and formation of the biofilm. Methods: We examined sequential samples on NGTs that were forcibly pulled out by the patients themselves during any of the 7 days after insertion. Scanning electron micrography and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used for biofilm detection. Results: Biofilm was identified on 60% of the five samples of day 1 and on all the samples of the following days, by both microscopic methods. Conclusions: Biofilms form within a single day on most NGTs inserted for the feeding of elderly patients with dysphagia. Further research should be devoted to prevention of biofilm formation on NGTs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)428-430
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Biofilm
  • Elderly
  • Long-term care
  • Nasogastric tube


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