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Volume 8, Number 4—April 2002

Research

Biofilm on Ventriculo-Peritoneal Shunt Tubing as a Cause of Treatment Failure in Coccidioidal Meningitis

Larry E. Davis*†, Guy Cook‡, and J. William Costerton§
Author affiliations: *New Mexico VA Health Care System, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; †University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; ‡Bacterin, Bozeman, Montana, USA; §Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA

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Figure 2

A. Scanning electron microscopy shows the presence of leukocytes and red blood cells on the tip of the ventriculo-peritoneal mass, within which coccoid cells can be visualized. The enclosing matrix material has condensed by dehydration, but the outline of the 4- to 6-μm coccoid cells (arrow), similar to those of C. immitis, can be resolved within the mass (x4,000). B. Scanning electron microscopy of the surface of the ventriculo-peritoneal shunt, showing complete colonization of the surface by a matrix-enclosed biofilm formed by the cells of C. immitis. Within the dehydration-condensed matrix of this biofilm, a hyphal element (arrow) and coccoid cells (4-6 μm) of the pathogen can be discerned (x5,000).

Figure 2. A. Scanning electron microscopy shows the presence of leukocytes and red blood cells on the tip of the ventriculo-peritoneal mass, within which coccoid cells can be visualized. The enclosing matrix material has condensed by dehydration, but the outline of the 4- to 6-μm coccoid cells (arrow), similar to those of C. immitis, can be resolved within the mass (x4,000). B. Scanning electron microscopy of the surface of the ventriculo-peritoneal shunt, showing complete colonization of the surface by a matrix-enclosed biofilm formed by the cells of C. immitis. Within the dehydration-condensed matrix of this biofilm, a hyphal element (arrow) and coccoid cells (4-6 μm) of the pathogen can be discerned (x5,000).

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