Identification of the blood component responsible for increased susceptibility to gut‐derived infection

J. W. Alexander, T. Pyles, R. Fukushima, G. F. Babcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


It has previously been reported that the transfusion of allogeneic whole blood increases sepsis‐related mortality and decreases the ability of the host to kill bacteria that have translocated from the intestinal tract. To determine which blood component contributes to this adverse effect, the impact of the transfusion of white cells (WBCs), red cells (RBCs), and plasma on microbial translocation, bacteria killing, and mortality rate was studied. Blood from C3H/HeJ mice was separated into WBCs, RBCs, and plasma, and these fractions were transfused to Balb/c mice. Controls received sterile saline. Five days after transfusion, all Balb/c mice underwent a 20‐percent burn and gavage with 1 × 1010 Escherichia coli labeled with 14C‐glucose. Mortality was observed for 10 days. Four additional groups, receiving the same treatment as above, were sacrificed 4 hours after the burn, and mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, kidney, and blood were harvested aseptically. For each tissue, quantitative colony counts, radionuclide counts, and percentage of translocated bacteria that remained alive were calculated. By radionuclide counts, no difference was observed in the degree of 14C E. coli translocation among the groups. In contrast, the percentage of viable bacteria and the mortality rate were significantly higher in the group receiving allogeneic WBCs than in all other groups (p < 0.05). It is concluded that WBCs are the component in transfused blood that has an adverse effect on host resistance to gut‐derived infection. 1993 AABB

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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