Tetrasodium EDTA for the prevention of urinary catheter infections and blockages

Jessica V. Moore, Doyoung Kim, Nicola J. Irwin, Jeffrey D. Rimer, Colin P. McCoy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Long-term catheterised individuals are at significant risk of developing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), with up to 50% of patients experiencing recurrent episodes of catheter encrustation and blockage. Catheter blockage is a result of accumulation of carbonate apatite and struvite formed upon precipitation of ions within urine due to an infection-induced rise in pH. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial and anti-encrustation activities of tetrasodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (tEDTA) to evaluate its potential efficacy in preventing CAUTIs and catheter blockages. The antimicrobial activity of tEDTA against uropathogens was assessed using time kill assays performed in artificial urine (AU). Crystallisation studies and in vitro bladder model assays were conducted to investigate the effect of tEDTA on struvite crystallisation and catheter blockage. tEDTA displayed bacteriostatic activity against Proteus mirabilis and prevented precipitation of ions in the AU. Crystallisation studies confirmed tEDTA inhibits struvite nucleation and growth via Mg2+ chelation with 7.63 mM tEDTA, equimolar to the concentration of divalent cations in AU, preventing the formation of crystalline deposits and blockage of Foley catheters for $168 h. The promising chelating abilities of low tEDTA concentrations could be exploited to inhibit encrustation and blockage of indwelling catheters. The fundamental research presented will inform our future development of an effective tEDTA-eluting catheter coating aimed at preventing catheter encrustation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2202-2212
Number of pages11
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jan 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 Jan 2023


  • catheter
  • urinary catheter
  • blockage
  • struvite
  • EDTA
  • encrustation
  • uropathogen
  • infection


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