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April 1989

The Association of Escherichia coli Virulence and Pulmonary Microvascular Damage

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Barke, Dunn, O'Connor-Allen, Simmons, and Humphrey), Pathology (Dr Dalmasso), and Laboratory Medicine (Dr Dalmasso), The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis (Drs Barke, Dalmasso, O'Connor-Allen, and Humphrey).

Arch Surg. 1989;124(4):449-452. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410040059013

• Bacterial virulence indicates the degree of pathogenicity of a given strain of microbe for a given host. The effect of Escherichia coli virulence on lung microvascular permeability was studied in sheep with chronic pulmonary lymph fistulas following peritoneal contamination. The study was divided into four groups: (1) wild-type E coli (WT group, 2.5× 109 colony-forming units [CFUs]/kg); (2) virulent E coli (PV group, 2.3×109CFUs/kg); (3) nonvirulent E coli (PNV group, 2.6× 109 CFUs/kg); (4) high-inoculum wild-type E coli (HIWT group, 6.1 × 109 CFUs/kg). In the late period (two to six hours), the increase in lung lymph flow in the PV group was significantly greater than the WT, PNV, and HIWT groups, with no difference noted among groups with respect to the pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary wedge pressure, or albumin lymph/plasma ratio. It was concluded that (1) increased E coli virulence results in increased lung microvascular damage and (2) increased lung microvascular damage as a function of E coli virulence may not be solely due to increased bacterial numbers as a function of time.

(Arch Surg 1989;124:449-452)

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