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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1990 Mar;141(3):648-53.

Oxygen radical-dependent bacterial killing and pulmonary hypertension in piglets infected with group B streptococci.

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University of Kentucky A. B. Chandler Medical Center, College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Lexington.


The mechanism by which bacteria are cleared by the pulmonary circulation and the relation of this process to development of hemodynamic abnormalities are not understood. This study tested the hypotheses that clearance of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) during transit through the pulmonary circulation of infant piglets is related to oxygen radical-dependent bacterial killing and that killing of the organism is linked to development of pulmonary hypertension. GBS were radiolabeled with 111In and infused intravenously for 15 min (10(8) organisms/kg/min) into infant piglets ranging in age from 5 to 14 days. Lung specimens were excised at termination of the GBS infusion or 45 min thereafter, and both the relative deposition and viability of the bacteria were determined. The percentage of infused GBS recovered in lung tissue did not differ between the two time points (26 +/- 7% versus 29 +/- 8%), but the relative viability at termination of the infusion, 50 +/- 11%, was reduced to 19 +/- 4% within 45 min. Treatment with an oxygen radical scavenger, dimethylthiourea (DMTU), failed to influence the pulmonary deposition of GBS but significantly increased viability of the organism from 21.4 +/- 2.6 to 33.3 +/- 5.3%. As expected, GBS infusion was accompanied by pulmonary hypertension and arterial hypoxemia; DMTU attenuated these responses by 52 and 78%, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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