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August 1979

Is There Postdefecation Bacteremia?

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Plastic Surgery (Dr Goldwyn) of the Department of Surgery (Dr Slavin), Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, and the Department of Surgery (Drs Slavin and Goldwyn), Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1979;114(8):937-938. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1979.01370320069012

• An investigation was done to determine the incidence of postdefecation bacteremia. A study of 82 healthy volunteers was done. Among 164 predefecation cultures, only one (0.6%) from an anaerobic flask was positive for microorganism, which was identified as Staphylococcus epidermidis. In only two of 328 (0.6%) postdefecation cultures did microorganisms grow, which were shown to be Propionibacterium acnes. The results of this study suggest that either bacteremia after defecation does not occur or is a rare event in healthy individuals.

(Arch Surg 114:937-938, 1979)