HYPERBARIC oxygen has been used successfully as a treatment regimen in severe infections caused by certain anaerobic bacteria, especially Clostridium welchii gas gangrene.1 The rationale behind this type of treatment is sound since anaerobic bacteria are highly sensitive to oxygen, but strict limitations are necessary because of detrimental effects of high pressure oxygen on the patient.
In vitro experiments have shown that hyperbaric oxygen is also inhibitory to aerobic microorganisms.2,3 Little is known, however, about the effects of hyperbaric oxygen on the growth and pathogenesis of aerobic bacteria in vivo. A preliminary study in this laboratory indicated that hyperbaric oxygenation enhanced the incidence of deaths among staphylococcal infected mice.4 This report is an extension of that work and includes studies of Pseudomonas-infected mice treated with hyperbaric oxygen.
Materials and Methods
For these studies, a strain of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from a wound infection and a strain