Plus Sutures Recognised for Reducing the Risk of Surgical Site Infections to Patients

Hero Image

NHSE and NICE Endorse Benefits of Triclosan Coated Suture

London, UK, September, 2020. Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies* today announced that the Ethicon** Plus Sutures have been recognised for the third year1, 2 running as part of the NHS’ Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme, which was set up to fast-track the roll-out of new and innovative medical technologies across England.

The ITP means that hospitals in England that have a higher than average prevailing rate of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) are entitled to apply for funding from NHS England (NHSE) each time they use Ethicon Plus Sutures.2

Plus Sutures are the only sutures with Triclosan available worldwide with antibacterial protection offered by IRGACARE®† MP (Triclosan)*** and have been shown in vitro to inhibit bacterial colonization of the suture for 7 days or more.3-6 ****

Triclosan-coated sutures have been shown in multiple meta-analyses to reduce the risk of SSIs by 28%.7-9

Triclosan coated sutures have also been included in SSI prevention guidelines and efficacy assessment by 6 recognised Health Authorities10-15 ǂ including The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which advises in its SSI Clinical Guidance under Closure Methods (1.3.20):

“When using sutures, consider using antimicrobial triclosan-coated sutures, especially for paediatric surgery, to reduce the risk of surgical site infection.”16

The full guidance can be found here.

NICE has also developed a Medtech Innovation Briefing (MIB) on Plus Sutures for preventing surgical site infection, which details the technology, evidence, role in the treatment pathway and costs.17

One of the largest Integrated Care NHS Trusts in the country accessed the ITP funding previously to enable them to implement PLUS Antibacterial Sutures within their infection prevention care bundle.

Click below to view the results generated, including how the use of PLUS Sutures was associated with a 25.7%18 reduction in SSIs across all eligible specialties.

Click here for case study

Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham also wanted to reduce its rate of surgical site infection. It set about introducing a new pilot programme where a “bundle” of measures, including Ethicon’s PLUS Sutures, were introduced in an attempt to reduce readmission rates, and SSI itself. Click here to watch a video of the results.

Nisha Johnson, General Manager for Ethicon, said: “Ethicon has more than 130 years of experience in surgical sutures, and both the NHSE and NICE endorsements support our Ethicon PLUS Sutures portfolio. 

“COVID-19 has changed a lot about how we live, work and deliver health care. One thing that hasn’t changed is Ethicon’s commitment to supporting doctors and nurses and everyone who works for and with hospitals. Now more than ever it is critical we do everything in our power, and at our disposal, to support surgeons and hospitals address the overwhelming burden of healthcare associated infections. This third year of funding shows the commitment from NHSE to extend the programme, based on its previous success, especially during these challenging times.

“We’re focusing our Wound Closure portfolio on the tools that help surgeons and patients: Plus Antibacterial coated sutures, Dermabond Prineo & Stratafix – designed to help to reduce hospital stays, increase efficiency in theatre, and allow patients to recover at home.’’

For more information contact the team


About Ethicon

Ethicon, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, has made significant contributions to surgery for more than 100 years from creating the first sutures, to revolutionizing surgery with minimally invasive procedures. Our continuing dedication to Shape the Future of Surgery is built on our commitment to help address the world's most pressing health care issues and improve and save more lives. Through Ethicon's surgical technologies and solutions including sutures, staplers, energy devices, trocars and adjunctive hemostats and our commitment to treat serious medical conditions like obesity and cancer worldwide, we deliver innovation to make a life-changing impact. For more information, visit

About Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies 

As the world’s most comprehensive medical devices business, we are building on a century of experience, leveraging science and technology, to shape the future of health care. With unparalleled breadth, depth and reach in surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions we are working to profoundly change the way care is delivered. We are in this for life.


* The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopedics, vision and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment. 
** Ethicon represents the products and services of Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC and certain of their affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
*** There are no competitive Triclosan coated sutures that have both FDA clearance and CE Mark as of June 2020. 
† A trademark of BASF SE.
**** The following bacteria have been evaluated: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermis, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermis (MRSE), Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pueumoniae.
ǂ The CDC, WHO, ACS/SIS, KRINKO, EUnetHTA and NICE Guidelines on reducing the risk of Surgical Site Infections are general to triclosan-coated sutures and are not specific to any one brand.

  1. ETHICON, Innovation Technology Payment for PLUS Sutures 2020-2021, August 2020, Data on File.
  2. ETHICON, NHS England Innovation and Technology Payment Technical Notes, October 2019, Data on File.
  3. Storch M, Rothenburger S, Jacinto G. Experimental efficacy study of Coated VICRYL™ Plus Antibacterial Suture in guinea pigs challenged with Staphylococcus aureus. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2004;5:281‐288.
  4. Ming X, Rothenburger S, Yang D. In vitro antibacterial efficacy of Monocryl Plus Antibacterial Suture (poligelcaprone 25 with triclosan). Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2007;8:201-207. 
  5. Ming X, Rothenburger S, Nichols M. In vivo and in vitro antibacterial e¬fficacy of PDS Plus (polidioxanone with triclosan) suture. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2008;9:451-457.
  6. Rothenburger S, Spangler D, Bhende S, Burkley D. In vitro antimicrobial evaluation of coated Vicryl Plus Antibacterial Suture (coated polyglactin 910 with triclosan) using zone of inhibition assays. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2002;3 (suppl):S79-S87.
  7. de Jonge S, Atema J, Solomkin J, Boermeester M. Meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis of triclosan coated sutures for the prevention of surgical-site infection. Brit J Surg. 2017; 104: e118-e133.
  8. Wang Z, Jiang C, Cao Y, Ding Y. Systematic review and meta‐analysis of Triclosan‐coated sutures for prevention of surgical‐site infection. Brit J Surg. 2013; 100:465‐474.
  9. Edmiston C, Daoud F, Leaper D. Is there an evidence‐based argument for embracing an antimicrobial (Triclosan)‐coated suture technology to reduce the risk for surgical‐site infections? A meta‐ analysis. Surgery. 2013; 154: 89‐100.
  10. Global guidelines on the prevention of surgical site infection. World Health Organization; 2016. Infection prevention and control. World Health Organization website. Available from: here  [Accessed April 11, 2019].
  11. Berríos-Torres SI, Umscheid CA, Bratzler DW, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection, 2017. JAMA Surg. 2017;152:784–791.
  12. American College of Surgeons and Surgical Infection Society: Surgical Site Infection Guidelines, 2016 Update. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Available at: here [Accessed June 30, 2020].
  13. NICE SSI Clinical Guideline (NG125), April 2019 - Surgical site infections: prevention and treatment. Available from: here [Accessed September 10, 2020].
  14. KRINKO, Prevention of postoperative wound infections Guidelines - Recommendation of the Committee for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention (KRINKO) at the Robert Koch Institute. Bundesgesundheitsbl. 2018. 61:448–473. Available from: here [Accessed June 30, 2020].
  15. EUnetHTA, Rapid assessment of JA3 WP4 on Antibacterial-Coated Sutures Versus Non-Antibacterial-Coated Sutures For The Prevention Of Abdominal, Superficial And Deep Incisional, Surgical Site Infection (SSI), March 2017. Available from: here [Accessed June 30, 2020].
  16. NICE, Surgical Site Infections: prevention and treatment; NICE Guideline, 2019. Available from here [Accessed September 10, 2020].
  17. NICE, Plus Sutures for preventing surgical site infection; Medtech Innovation Briefing, published 2020. Available from here [Accessed September 10, 2020].
  18. ETHICON, NHS SSI Analysis, April 2020, Data on File.

© Johnson & Johnson Medical Limited 2020, 151224-200827 UK