Lack of antibacterial activity after intravenous hydrogen peroxide infusion in experimental Escherichia coli sepsis

J. L. Shenep, D. C. Stokes, W. T. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The intravenous administration of hydrogen peroxide has been reported to benefit patients with pneumonia and to reduce Plasmodium parasitemia in experimentally infected mice. We assessed the antibacterial activity of intravenously infused hydrogen peroxide against hydrogen peroxide-susceptible Escherichia coli (MBC of hydrogen peroxide, 0.23 mM) in experimentally infected rabbits. No decrease in the level of bacteremia was detected at the maximum intravenous infusion rate of hydrogen peroxide physiologically tolerated by the rabbits (2.0 μmol/h). Moreover, the addition ex vivo of greater amounts of hydrogen peroxide to human or murine blood containing E. coli resulted in no detectable antibacterial action. In contrast, ethyl hydrogen peroxide, which is not affected by catalase, was bactericidal when added ex vivo to human blood containing E. coli. These results suggest that extracellular hydrogen peroxide, whether of exogenous or endogenous origin, does not have antibacterial activity in the blood of animals having even low levels of catalase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-610
Number of pages4
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume48
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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