Dissemination of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during lung infection in hamsters. Role of oxygen-induced lung injury

W. G. Johanson, J. H. Higuchi, D. E. Woods, P. Gomez, J. J. Coalson

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38 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas aeruginosa was inoculated into the lungs of normal and oxygen-exposed hamsters. Air-breathing animals developed focal bronchopneumonias but viable organisms were not recovered from the lungs after 3 days; bacteremia was not detected but P. aeruginosa was isolated from the livers of 3 of 12 animals with positive lung cultures. Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection shortened the survival time of oxygen-breathing hamsters, and organisms persisted in the lungs during oxygen exposure. Focal bronchopneumonias were uncommon in animals inoculated after 4 days of oxygen exposure; the predominant histopathologic finding was accentuation of diffuse alveolar damage and increased numbers of scattered neutrophils. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was recovered from the livers of 15 of 18 oxygen-exposed animals in which lung colony counts exceeded 103/lung; only 8 of these animals had demonstrable bacteremia. The concentration of elongation factor-2 in the livers and lungs of oxygen-exposed animals was reduced as colony counts of P. aeruginosa increased in the lungs of infected animals, suggesting exotoxin A activity in these organisms. These findings suggest that bacterial superinfection of injured lungs may account for both worsening lung function and impaired function of other organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-361
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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