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Gastroenterology. 1990 Dec;99(6):1723-6.

Host response to mycobacterial infection in the alcoholic rat.

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Research Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.


Animals, chronically treated with alcohol, were inoculated with mycobacteria (bacillus Calmette-Guérin, 10.2 x 10(6) organisms) into the spleen to produce a granulomatous hepatitis. Before infection, chronic alcohol ingestion was associated with a depressed skin test response to phytohemagglutinin, 71.7% of baseline (P = 0.009). Mycobacterial (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) infection stimulated phytohemagglutinin skin test response to 417% of baseline in controls and 299% in alcoholics (P less than 0.001). The hepatic granuloma response was altered with smaller but more numerous granulomas (mean +/- SEM, 81.2 +/- 1.5 microns2 of area with a frequency of 1.8 granulomas per field in alcoholics vs. 129.8 +/- 5.71 microns2 and 1.2 granulomas per field in controls; P less than 0.001). These changes were associated with a 10-fold increase in colony-forming units per gram of liver (54.5 +/- 18.2 in alcoholics vs. 5.6 +/- 1.83 in controls; P = 0.0006). This model offers precise parameters for host response to infection and indicates that alcohol significantly impairs the clearing capacity for mycobacteria from the liver.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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