The secondary infection of a so-called sterile abscess, by the intravenous injection of streptococci, is an outgrowth of work on postoperative wound infection in which we are engaged. We are attempting to arrive at a method by which the incidence of such infections can be reduced. As part of this work we induced infection with a known number of bacteria in a surgical wound in a dog, and then irrigated the wound with various antiseptic and germicidal solutions. We observed that an ordinary wound would heal, after contamination with a certain number of bacteria, without gross evidence of infection, such as oozing of pus, pus pockets, prolonged induration or sloughing of tissue. We also noted that certain wounds copiously irrigated with antiseptic solutions, would become infected even though the number of bacteria in each wound was less than that which a wound would usually dispose of without becoming grossly infected.
SAGER WW, NICKEL AC. LOCALIZATION OF BACTERIA IN TISSUES OF LOWERED RESISTANCE. Arch Surg. 1929;19(6):1086–1089. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.01150060148007
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