Local plate infections in a rabbit model

Injury. 1999 Nov;30(9):587-90. doi: 10.1016/s0020-1383(99)00153-9.


We used 30 New Zealand white rabbits to compare the susceptibility to bacterial challenge of two different orthopaedic implants: a standard-design stainless steel plate, or a PC-FIX titanium plate applied on the right tibia were compared with sham operated animals. Directly after surgery Staphylococcus aureus (10(8)-10(9) colony forming units) were inoculated close to the plate. The infection rate in the group of plated animals was 11/20 (stainless steel plates 6/10, PC-FIX titanium plates 5/10) and in sham operated animals only 1/10. Thus, a foreign body increased the risk for infection (p = 0.02). However, the implant type did not appear to be of major importance when the bacteria were inoculated locally. In experimental haematogenous infections, by contrast, implant design and material are considered to be important. This may either indicate different pathogenic mechanisms in locally and haematogenously induced infections, or simply that the large number of microorganisms in local inoculation 'overload' the normal defence systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Fixation Devices / microbiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development*