Biofilm-state bacterial infections associated with inserted medical devices constitute a massive health and financial problem worldwide. Although bacteria exhibit significantly lower susceptibility to antibiotics in the biofilm state, the most common treatment approach still relies on antibiotics, exacerbating the phenomenon of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In this study, we aimed to assess whether ZnCl2 coating of intranasal silicone splints (ISSs) can reduce the biofilm infections associated with the insertion of these devices and prevent the overuse of antibiotics while minimizing waste, pollution and costs. We tested the ability of ZnCl2 to prevent biofilm formation on ISS both in vitro and in vivo by using the microtiter dish biofilm formation assay, crystal violet staining, and electron and confocal microscopy. We found a significant decrease in biofilm formation between the treatment group and the growth control when ZnCl2-coated splints were placed in patients’ nasal flora. According to these results, infections associated with ISS insertion may be prevented by using ZnCl2 coating, thereby obviating the overuse and abuse of antibiotics.
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