The effect of blood transfusion on susceptibility to bacterial infection in genetically defined mouse models

T. Eaves-Pyles, J. Wesley Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Blood transfusions suppress immune function and increase susceptibility to infection, but the effects are not consistent. Study Design and Methods: Genetically defined mouse strains with the same or different haplotypes were used as blood transfusion recipients and donors. Transfused animals were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) and followed for survival or were injected intravenously with Candida albicans to follow clearance of the Candida from the kidneys. Results: BALB/c (H-2(d)) mice transfused with C3H/HeJ (H-2(k)) or DBA/2 (H-2(d)) blood followed by CLP showed significantly lower survival (7 and 10%) than mice transfused with syngeneic blood (61%) or saline controls (56%). Lower survival was also observed in C3H/HeJ (H-2(k)) mice transfused with BALB/c (H 2(d)) blood and subjected to CLP (25%) compared with syngeneic transfusion (80%) or saline controls (70%). C57BL/6J (H-2(b)) mice showed minimal increases in mortality after CLP after transfusion with blood from C3H/HeJ (H-2(k)) (60% survival), DBA/2 (H-2(d)) (70% survival), or BALB/c (H-2(d)) mice (90% survival). When C. albicans was infused intravenously into transfused mice, a similar pattern of altered resistance to infection was found. Conclusion: The ability of blood transfusions to increase susceptibility to bacterial infection appears to be dependent on genetic factors unrelated to the major haplotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-898
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood transfusion
  • Genetic resistance
  • Immune function
  • Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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