The intestinal microflora and intra-abdominal sepsis

  • Andrew B. Onderdonk
Chapter

Abstract

Infections involving the abdominal cavity occur for a variety of reasons, but almost universally are caused by bacteria that normally reside within the gastrointestinal tract. Trauma, GI surgery, perforated large intestine or appendix, and carcinoma of the colon are all common underlying reasons for contamination of the peritoneal cavity with the bacteria within the lumen of the large intestine (Bartlett et al., 1976). Infections related to the abdominal cavity include infections of the abdominal wall, subphrenic and intra-abdominal abscesses, peritonitis, and abscesses of any visceral organ including the spleen, pancreas and liver (Finegold, 1977). Virtually all such infections are polymicrobic and involve a mixture of both obligate anaerobes and facultatively anaerobic bacterial species (Gorbach and Bartlett, 1974; Gorbach, Thadepalli and Norsen, 1974; Hentges, 1983). Morbidity and mortality due to such infections is substantial, as is the cost of such infections to the health-care delivery system. In order to appreciate the complexity of such infections, it is first important to understand something of the complexity of the human intestinal microflora.

Keywords

Peritoneal Cavity Intestinal Microflora Capsular Polysaccharide Intraabdominal Abscess Intraabdominal Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

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  • Andrew B. Onderdonk

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