Physiologic Effects Of Hyperbaric Oxygen On Microorganisms And Host Defences Against Infection

Daniel Mathieu, Francis Wattel

Service d'Urgence Respiratoire, de Réanimation Médicale et de Médecine Hyperbare, Hôpital Calmette, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire,Lille, France

Abstract: Physiologic effects of hyperbaric oxygen on microorganisms and host defence mechanisms against infection fall into three categories:

- a direct action on anaerobic bacteria

- an indirect action on the microbicidal capability of polymorphonucleocytes and macrophages by raising or restoring normal oxygen pressure within the infected areas.

- an enhancement of the antimicrobial activity of some antibiotics.

These actions have been proven both in vitro and in animal studies and are the basis of the use of HBO in selected infectious processes

Keywords: anaerobic bacteria, oxygen free radical, antioxidant, phagocytosis, bacteriostasis, bactericidal activity, polymorphonuclear leukocyte, antibiotics, infection

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