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Microb Pathog. 2003 Aug;35(2):81-6.

Sodium pentobarbital anesthesia transiently enhances the severity of infection following intragastric, but not intravenous, inoculation of Listeria monocytogenes in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


In the present study we observed that mice anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital were far more susceptible to gastrointestinal challenge with Listeria monocytogenes than were unanaesthetized mice. The effect of pentobarbital anesthesia was transient (gone within 2 h) and did not alter the severity of infection following i.v. challenge with L. monocytogenes. Treatment with pharmacological inhibitors of gastric acidity (i.e. cimetidine and omeprazole), or intestinal motility (loperamide), did not duplicate the effect of pentobarbital on gastrointestinal listeriosis. These findings suggest that sodium pentobarbital anesthesia causes a short-lived but striking diminution in resistance to gastrointestinal listeriosis in mice, via an undefined mechanism.

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