Bacteraemia and subsequent sepsis is one possible complication of infection. The aim of this study was to examine a correlation between bacterial translocation with morphological changes of intestinal mucosa and shifts of intestinal microflora in experimental models of infection. A mouse model was used to study post-antibiotic shifts and mild infection, and hamsters were used to study fatal enterocolitis. The influence of pro- and pre-biotics (lactobacilli and xylitol) were also studied in the hamster model. The quantitative composition of luminal and mucosal microflora was evaluated in different intestinal loci, inflammatory changes of mucosa were estimated in histological sections and bacterial translocation was detected in samples from blood, liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes. In cases of mild infection, the extent of disturbance of intestinal microflora appeared to be a more important promoting factor in translocation than inflammatory activity in the mucosa. Translocation was frequent in fatal enterocolitis, with facultative species predominating in the intestinal mucosa and also in some cases. The combination of lactobacilli and xylitol had some protective effect against infection in these models.


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