Growth of and was monitored during early stages of single (mono-) and mixed intra-abdominal infection in a rat fibrin clot model. When and were together involved in the infection, numbers increased about 6h after an initial decline. This increase was not found with mono-infections. The numbers of increased rapidly in both mono- and mixed infections and stayed high for several days, but only mixed infection resulted in abscesses that persisted for more than 7 days. Macrophages, the main component of the peritoneal cellular defence mechanism, were outnumbered by polymorphonuclear leucocytes during the first 6 h of infection. Further characterisation of the macrophage population by means of monoclonal antibodies showed a shift from resident to exudate macrophages as the result of influx of the latter.


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