Background and objective It is claimed that local anaesthetics have antimicrobial properties. Our aim was to investigate the antimicrobial effects of different concentrations of ropivacaine, bupivacaine, lidocaine and prilocaine on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans.
Methods All local anaesthetic dilutions were exposed to microorganisms for 0, 30, 60, 120, 240 min at room temperature. The inoculums taken from diluted suspensions were reinoculated on blood agar and incubated for 18–24 h at 35°C and then the colonies were counted.
Results Ropivacaine did not inhibit any of the microorganisms tested. Bupivacaine reduced the viable cells of P. aeruginosa at 0.5% and 0.25% solutions. Lidocaine 5% and 2% and prilocaine 2.0% dilutions reduced the viable cells of all microorganisms tested. Prilocaine 1.0% reduced the viable cells of E. coli, S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. Lidocaine 1% reduced only the viable cells of P. aeruginosa and prilocaine 0.5% reduced only E. coli.
Conclusion Ropivacaine had no antimicrobial effect on microorganisms tested. Bupivacaine showed poor antimicrobial effectiveness. Lidocaine and prilocaine had more powerful antimicrobial effects than the other two local anaesthetics.