The Open Pain Journal

ISSN: 1876-3863 ― Volume 12, 2019

Antimicrobial Activity of Lidocaine, Bupivacaine, Mepivacaine and Ropivacaine on Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis

S. Neuwersch1, *, M. Köstenberger1, S. Sorschag2, W. Ilias3, R. Likar1
1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, General Hospital Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
2 Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Microbiology, General Hospital Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
3 Vienna Private Clinic, Vienna, Austria



Various studies have shown a possible antimicrobial activity of different local anaesthetics, which may affect the results of microbial assessment of biopsies. The purpose of this study was to test the antimicrobial activity of different commonly used anaesthetic agents on Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtitles to reproduce data and to compare the findings.


Local anaesthetics tested were commercially available solutions of lidocaine (Xyloneural®, Xylanaest pur.®), bupivacaine (Bucain®), mepivacaine (Mecain®) and ropivacaine (Naropin®, Ropinaest®).2%, 1%, 0.5%, 0.25% and 0.1% (20, 10, 5, 2.5, 1 mg/ml) dilutions of these local anaesthetics were prepared with sterile 0.9% saline. Bacteria used in this study were Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. 10 μl of different local anaesthetic dilution placed on thin wafers were added to Mueller Hinton Agar and cultured. After 24 hours, a zone of inhibition around the wafers was evaluated.


Local anaesthetics in different concentrations did not show any zone of inhibition on Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus subtilis.


In summary, neither lidocaine, bupivacaine, mepivacaine nor ropivacaine showed an antibacterial effect on Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis.


Due to these findings this local anaesthetics can be used in daily clinical routine to perform pain free diagnostic procedures in which culture specimens are to be obtained. Due to inconsistent results in prior studies, we recommend to use the lowest concentration possible of the local anaesthetic, also to avoid other possible side effects of local agents.

Keywords: Pain, Local anaestetic, Concentration, Antibacterial effect.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2017
Volume: 10
First Page: 1
Last Page: 4
Publisher Id: TOPAINJ-10-1
DOI: 10.2174/1876386301710010001

Article History:

Received Date: 24/08/2016
Revision Received Date: 04/01/2017
Acceptance Date: 06/01/2017
Electronic publication date: 28/02/2017
Collection year: 2017

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© 2017 Neuwersch et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Institution: General Hospital Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria; Tel: 0043/538/0; Email:


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