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Anaerobic infections in the surgical patient: microbial etiology and therapy. Clin Infect Dis 2002 Sep 01;35(Suppl 1):S112-8



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0036056369   30 Citations


Anaerobic infections occur in surgical patients in part because of structural or functional defects in the host that (1) cause a breech in the normal mucosal barriers, (2) create localized vascular insufficiencies, or (3) produce an obstruction. Any or all of these events may compromise the oxidation-reduction potential within the tissues, encouraging rapid anaerobic growth. Although diverse anaerobic populations are spread throughout the gastrointestinal tract, a relatively limited number of organisms are responsible for clinical infection in the surgical patient. Many of these offending organisms express overt virulence factors that enhance microbial adherence, tissue destruction, and, in the case of Bacteroides fragilis, facilitate abscess formation. The selection of an appropriate perioperative or therapeutic agent requires a fundamental knowledge of the microbial ecology of this microbial population. The failure to consider the anaerobic flora as a component in the etiology of mixed surgical infections is associated with a high rate of perioperative and therapeutic failures.

Author List

Edmiston CE Jr, Krepel CJ, Seabrook GR, Jochimsen WG


Gary R. Seabrook MD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Bacteria, Anaerobic
Bacterial Infections
Bacteroides Infections
Bacteroides fragilis
General Surgery
Postoperative Complications
Treatment Failure
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a