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January 1990

Oxygen as an Antibiotic: The Effect of Inspired Oxygen on Bacterial Clearance

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Wound Healing Clinic and Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(1):97-100. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410130103015

• Previous experimentation with the guinea pig skin injection model showed that altering the fraction of inspired oxygen had a significant effect on infectious necrosis. Using the same model, we performed quantitative bacterial cultures to determine the number of viable injected bacteria 24 and 48 hours after injection. Animals were randomized to receive 12%, 21%, and 45% inspired oxygen. A significant decrease in bacterial number was seen at 45% inspired oxygen between 24 and 48 hours, and a significant decrease occurred at 48 hours between 12% and 45% inspired oxygen. These results demonstrated a prominent role for oxygen in bacterial clearance and host defense.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:97-100)