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Open Access Research article

Burn wounds infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa triggers weight loss in rats

Lars Steinstraesser12*, Olaf Burkhard14, Ming H Fan1, Frank Jacobsen4, Marcus Lehnhardt4, Grace Su2, Adrien Daigeler4, Hans U Steinau4, Daniel Remick3 and Stewart C Wang1

Author Affiliations

1 Dept. of Surgery, University of Michigan, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0666, USA

2 Medicine, University of Michigan, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0666, USA

3 Pathology, University of Michigan, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0666, USA

4 Dept. Plastic Surgery Burn Center, Ruhr-University Bochum, Buerkle-de la-Camp Platz 1, 44789 Bochum, Germany

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BMC Surgery 2005, 5:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-5-19

Published: 17 September 2005

Abstract

Background

Despite dramatic improvements in the management of burns, infection still remains a serious risk for the burn patient. The aim of this study was to shed light on the impact of acute burn injury with or without infection on cytokine profiles.

Methods

Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 21) were randomized into three groups: 1) burn only 2) burn and infection or 3) sham burn. Weight was monitored and blood was collected for cytokine ELISA, LPS quantification, and peripheral blood analysis. Animals were sacrificed either after 6 or 12 days.

Results

Infected animals showed substantial weight loss until day 6 post-burn as compared to burn alone. Endotoxin and TNF-α levels were elevated early in the infected burn group within 48 hours post-burn. In contrast, significant up-regulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 occurred later in the clinical course and was associated with the recovery from weight loss.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that in the presence of infection, you get a SIRS response possibly due to transient endotoxemia that is only seen in the infection group. In contrast, both burn and infection get a late IL-10 (CARS) response, which is then associated with a return to normal weight in the infection group.