Sonication cultureSonication is a new diagnostic tool for efficient and rapid removal of bacterial and fungal biofilms from the surface of explanted implants.

It is especially designed for diagnosis of delayed (low-grade) implant-associated infection or in patients previously receiving antibiotics (Trampuz et al. NEJM 2007). The sonication fluid is cultered on aerobic and anaerobic agar plates and can be used for further microbiological analysis (e.g. PCR, MALDI-TOF).

The sensivitivity for microbial detection is >90%, compared to 60-70% for periprosthetic tissue cultures (Corvec et al. Int J Artif Org 2012). In addition, sonication allows rapid microbiological diagnosis with positive cultures in 1-3 days, particularly when inoculated in blood culture bottles (Portillo et al. J Clin Microbiol 2015).

A step-by-step description of the sonication procedure can be watched in a movie. Ahand-out is available here.

A list of microbiology laboratories providing validated sonication will be available soon.

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