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April 21, 1962

Germfree Pigs and Bile Peritonitis-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Arkansas Medical Center, Little Rock

JAMA. 1962;180(3):262. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050160078026

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To the Editor:—  We thank Doctor Fine for his comments on our preliminary work on bile peritonitis in the germfree pig. We would like to make the following points:1. Germfree pigs are fed only cows' milk with supplemental minerals and vitamins, in contrast to the pellets and chows fed to germfree and other rodents. The number of organisms contained in the unsterilized pigs' diet is considerably less than in the unsterilized rodents' diet. The maximal bacterial count for the milk we use is as follows: less than 30,000 bacteria per milliliter and less than 2,000 coliforms per milliliter in the raw, unpasteurized milk. Following pasteurization the count is reduced to no coliforms and less than 3,000 total bacteria per milliliter. Of course, all organisms are killed before being fed to any germfree animal. Thus, the total amount of endotoxin, theoretically available to these animals, is extremely small, even if

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