Effect of nebulized eucalyptus on contamination of microbial plaque of endotracheal tube in ventilated patients

Nazanin Amini, Korosh Rezaei, Ahmadreza Yazdannik


Background: Formation of biofilm and bacterial colonization within the endotracheal tube (ETT) are significant sources of airway contamination and play a role in the development of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). This study was conducted to examine the effect of nebulized eucalyptus (NE) on bacterial colonization of ETT biofilm.

Materials and Methods: We performed a randomized clinical trial in three intensive care units (ICUs) of an educational hospital. Seventy intubated patients were selected and randomly divided into intervention (n = 35) and control (n = 35) groups. The intervention group received 4 ml (5%) of eucalyptus in 6 ml normal saline every 8 h. The placebo group received only 10 ml of normal saline in the same way. On extubation, the interior of the tube was immediately sampled using a sterile swab for standard microbiological analysis. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used for statistical analysis in SPSS. P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: In both samples, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii were the most frequently isolated bacteria. In the control group, heavy colonization was greater than in the intervention group (P = 0.002). The frequency of isolation of K. pneumoniae in the intervention group was lower than in the control group (P < 0.001). However, there was no difference between the two groups in other isolated bacteria.

Conclusions: NE can reduce microbial contamination of the endotracheal tube biofilm in ventilated patients. Moreover, K. pneumoniae was the most sensitive to NE.



Biofilms; endotracheal intubation; endotracheal tub; eucalyptus; Iran; nebulizers

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