The effect of non-absorbable antibiotics on intestinal bacterial translocation and endotoxemia in experimental obstructive jaundice

Authors S. Koureleas, A. Arvaniti, M. Stavropoulos, C.D. Scopa, C.E. Vagianos.


Objectives: This is an experimental study in rats, examining bacterial translocation and endotoxemia in obstructive jaundice, as well as the effect of per os administration of non-absorbable antibiotics (neomycin & cefazoline).

Method: Male Wistar rats were used, divided in four groups: I=control, II=sham, III=common bile duct ligation and IV=common bile duct ligation+antibiotics. Aerobic cultures of mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and liver were performed and endotoxin was measured in the portal vein and aorta. The aerobic bacterial concentration in the cecum was determined and the terminal ileum was evaluated histologically.

Results: The study showed that obstructive jaundice resulted in increased bacterial translocation to MLNs and liver, increased systemic and portal endotoxemia and increased concentration of aerobic bacteria in the cecum.
Treatment with neomycin and cefazoline reduced significantly endotoxemia, reduced the number of aerobic bacterial in the cecum as well as the bacterial translocation to the liver. There was no effect on bacterial translocation to MLNs. Histologic changes in intestinal morphology observed in jaundiced animals were not influenced by the administration of antibiotics.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that administration of non-absorbable antibiotics per os in jaundiced rats reduces bacterial translocation to the liver as well as portal and systemic endotoxemia and decreases the aerobic cecal flora, but has not effect on bacterial translocation to MLNs. These findings may be of clinical significance in preventing septic complications in patients with obstructive jaundice.

Keywords: Non-absorbable antibiotics, Obstructive jaundice, Bacterial translocation, Endotoxemia, Intestine, Cecal flora

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