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Radiat Res. 1990 May;122(2):215-7.

Quinolone therapy of Klebsiella pneumoniae sepsis following irradiation: comparison of pefloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and ofloxacin.

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Experimental Hematology Department, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland.


Exposure to whole-body irradiation is associated with fatal gram-negative sepsis. The effect of oral therapy with three quinolones, pefloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and ofloxacin, for orally acquired Klebsiella pneumoniae infection was tested in B6D2F1 mice exposed to 8.0 Gy whole-body irradiation from bilaterally positioned 60Co sources. A dose of 10(8) organisms was given orally 2 days after irradiation, and therapy was started 1 day later. Quinolones reduced colonization of the ileum with K. pneumoniae: 16 of 28 (57%) untreated mice harbored the organisms, compared to only 12 of 90 (13%) mice treated with quinolones (P less than 0.005). K. pneumoniae was isolated from the livers of 6 of 28 untreated mice, compared to only 1 of 90 treated mice (P less than 0.001). Only 5 of 20 (25%) untreated mice survived for at least 30 days compared with 17 of 20 (85%) mice treated with ofloxacin, 15 of 20 (75%) mice treated with pefloxacin, and 14 of 20 (70%) treated with ciprofloxacin (P less than 0.05). These data illustrate the efficacy of quinolones for oral therapy of orally acquired K. pneumoniae infection in irradiated hosts.

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