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Scand J Infect Dis. 1985;17(3):303-10.

Experimental hematogenous infection of subcutaneously implanted foreign bodies.


Implanted foreign bodies are highly susceptible to pyogenic infection. Whereas infection up to 3 months after surgery is probably due to perioperative bacterial contamination, little is known about the pathogenesis of late prosthetic infections. We employed an animal model to determine whether subcutaneously implanted foreign bodies were susceptible to experimental bacteremia. Tissue cages were implanted into guinea pigs, which were infected at the earliest 4 weeks later by intracardiac injection of Staphylococcus aureus Wood 46. The injection of 2 X 10(6) cfu did not result in any infection. Inoculation of 5 X 10(7) cfu resulted in a bacteremia of 10(2)-10(3) cfu/ml after 5 min and led to 11/26 selective tissue cage infections with no microbiological evidence of infection elsewhere. Higher inocula caused systemic infections with foci in different organs. Rifampin (7.5 mg/kg b.i.d.) was administered for 48 h, starting at different times after infection to establish the best timing for efficacious short-term therapy. When treatment was begun 1 h before or 3 h after inoculation, complete protection was observed, whereas 1/12 and 3/15 tissue cages remained infected when the first dose was not given until 24 h and 48 h, respectively, after inoculation. These experiments illustrate that implanted prostheses are highly susceptible even to bacteremias with low density of microorganisms. Prophylaxis can prevent such infections, whereas delayed short-term treatment may fail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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