A quantitative study of genital skin flora in male spinal cord-injured outpatients

Academic Article


  • Skin flora from the perineum, penis and urethra of 15 adult male outpatients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and neurogenic bladder dysfunction were compared with that of 10 neurologically normal controls. Gram-positive cocci and diphtheroids were the predominant isolates from controls with no enteric organisms recovered except Escherichia coli in four instances. Among SCI patients, in addition to normal Gram-positive flora, one species of Gram- negative rod was isolated from three patients, two species from five patients, three species from three patients, four species from three patients and five species from one individual. Skin isolates included various members of Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter and Enterococcus. Average bacterial counts in perineal, penile and urethral cultures from SCI patients were each 1 log greater than in controls. Bacteria were isolated from 12 of 14 urine cultures obtained from SCI patients immediately after collection of skin cultures. Organisms isolated from urine were present in one or more skin sites in every instance. Differences in skin flora between SCI patients and neurologically normal persons may be the result of variables such as antibiotic usage, presence of a condom catheter, skin moisture, urine leakage, pH, skin temperature, personal hygiene and/or neurogenic bowel management.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Taylor TA; Waites KB
  • Start Page

  • 117
  • End Page

  • 121
  • Volume

  • 72
  • Issue

  • 3