In Vivo Analysis of the Morphologic Characteristics of Synthetic Mesh to Resist MRSA Adherence

Jeffrey A. Blatnik, David M. Krpata, Michael R. Jacobs, Yue Gao, Yuri W. Novitsky, Michael J. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background: Synthetic mesh has significantly reduced recurrence rates for ventral hernia repair; however, prosthetic mesh infections remain a significant complication. We hypothesized that unique mesh constructs might alter the ability of various synthetic meshes to clear bacterial contamination. To evaluate this, we studied commercially available synthetic meshes ability to clear a bacterial contamination with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. Methods: Two hundred and eighty-three rats underwent hernia repair with one of nine synthetic materials. Control animals were closed, and the remainder was inoculated with either 104 or 106 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Animals were survived for 30 days without systemic antibiotics. At necropsy, the mesh was harvested and quantitative cultures and bacterial clearance assessed. Results: All clean repairs remained sterile. Rates of bacterial clearance for 104 repairs revealed that unprotected monofilament materials cleared significantly more bacteria than composite meshes and multifilament meshes (p = <0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively). At higher levels of bacterial contamination (106), all materials had a reduction in bacterial clearance, although monofilament materials had higher bacterial clearance compared to composite meshes (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Monofilament unprotected polypropylene and polyester mesh can clear a large percentage of MRSA contaminants. Multifilament, composite anti-adhesive barrier meshes, and laminar antimicrobial impregnated mesh are not able to clear bacterial contamination with MRSA. Unique properties of synthetic material should be considered when evaluating a prosthetic for high-risk incisional hernia repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2144
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Hernia mesh
  • MRSA
  • Mesh infection
  • Mesh properties
  • Synthetic mesh


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