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Can J Microbiol. 1986 Sep;32(9):719-22.

Effect of radiation dose on the recovery of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria from mice.


The presence of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the blood, spleen, and liver was investigated in mice that were exposed to 7, 8, 9, or 10 Gy 60Co radiation. Microorganisms were detected more often in animals exposed to higher doses of radiation. The number of mice that were culture positive and the number of isolates in one site increased with increasing dose. Bacteria were recovered in mice killed at various times after radiation, in 3 of 100 mice exposed to 7 Gy, in 13 of 100 irradiated with 8 Gy, in 23 of 90 exposed to 9 Gy, and in 34 of 87 irradiated with 10 Gy. The predominant organisms recovered were Escherichia coli, anaerobic Gram-positive cocci, Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacteroides spp. Escherichia coli and anaerobes were more often isolated in animals exposed to 10 Gy, while S. aureus was more often recovered in those irradiated with 9 Gy. These data demonstrate a relationship between the dose of radiation and the rate of infection due to enteric aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.

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