Background: The objective of this study was to assess whether a zinc-impregnated polypropylene mesh (ZnMesh) has better antibacterial properties in a contaminated environment compared with a regular polypropylene mesh. Materials and methods: Thirty-eight Wistar Han rats underwent cecal ligation and puncture to induce peritonitis 24 h before implantation of an intraperitoneal ZnMesh or a regular polypropylene mesh. Primary outcome was the number of colony forming units (CFU) per sample (mesh and abdominal wall). Secondary outcomes were macroscopic (incorporation of mesh, abscesses, and adhesions on mesh surface) and histological (inflammatory cell reaction, mesh-specific parameters, and collagen deposition) parameters. All outcomes were evaluated after 30 and 90 d. Results: After 30 d, no significant difference in CFU per sample was present between the ZnMesh and control groups. After 90 d, a lower number of CFU per sample was present in the ZnMesh group compared with the control group (trypticase soy agar with 5% sheep blood: 0 log10 CFU/sample IQR: 0-1.40 versus 1.58 log10 CFU/sample IQR: 0-4.30, P = 0.012; MacConkey: 0 log10 CFU/sample IQR: 0-2.65 versus 1.18 log10 CFU/sample IQR: 0-4.04, P = 0.438). After 90 d, the percentage of adhesions on mesh surface was significantly higher in the ZnMesh group (95% IQR: 60%-100% versus 50% IQR: 23%-75%, P = 0.029). No differences were seen in other macroscopic outcomes or histology. Conclusions: A significantly lower number of CFU per sample was found in the ZnMesh group after 90 d. After 30 d, no statistically significant differences in CFU per sample were seen. This result suggests that the ZnMesh group has better antibacterial properties in a contaminated environment. However, this is at the cost of a significantly higher percentage of adhesions.

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Journal of Surgical Research
Department of Surgery

Yurtkap, Y., Jairam, A., Posthuma-Kaufmann, R., Kroese, L., Clahsen-van Groningen, M., Mouton, J., … Belt, E. (2019). Zinc-Impregnated Mesh for Abdominal Wall Repair Reduces Infection in a Rat Model of Peritonitis. Journal of Surgical Research. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2019.09.046