The influence of six immunosuppressive agents on the occurrence of endogenous bacteraemia in mice was evaluated. The mortality rates in conventional ddY mice given cyclophosphamide (CY), fluorouracil (5-FU), methotrexate (MTX), cisplatin (CDDP) or FK-506 intraperitoneally, or dexamethasone (DXM) subcutaneously were 70, 100, 100, 100, 0 and 0%, respectively. was isolated from 70% of mice treated with CY but from only 10% of mice treated with 5-FU and 30% treated with MTX. Enterobacteria were isolated from 90% of mice treated with 5-FU. Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) mice fed were also treated with these agents. All mice in the CY, 5-FU, MTX and CDDP groups died whereas mice treated with DXM and FK-506 showed 20% and 0% mortality, respectively. Pure cultures of were obtained from all of the mice treated with CY. Polymicrobial bacteraemia with and enterobacteria occurred in 5, 25, 5 and 5% of mice treated with 5-FU, MTX, CDDP and DXM, respectively. Enterobacterial bacteraemia was observed in 70% of mice treated with CDDP and in 5% of the DXM group. Different types of bacteraemia were induced by different immunosuppressive agents. The mechanism of immunosuppression may affect the frequency of bacteraemia and the causative organism.


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