April 1972

The Importance of Six Common Bacteria in Intestinal Strangulation

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis
From the departments of surgery (Drs. Yale and Balish) and medical microbiology (Dr. Balish), University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(4):438-442. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180040052009

The effects of monocontamination by each of six common intestinal bacteria were studied in germ-free rats with ischemic or hemorrhagic strangulation of closed intestinal segments. Six groups of 30 germfree rats were monocontaminated, each group with a single strain of one of the microorganisms. We found that (a) Bacteroides fragilis, Streptococcus faecalis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus were innocuous; (b) Staphylococcus aureus 80/81 killed only 17% of the animals; (c) Proteus vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa killed over 90% of the animals within 36 hours after strangulation; and (d) monocontamination and operation without strangulation was well tolerated by most of the animals except those associated with Ps aeruginosa. We concluded that the common intestinal bacteria vary greatly in their ability to cause death after intestinal strangulation.