OxyFile #101

TI:  Lack of Antibacterial Activity After Intravenous Hydrogen 
     Peroxide Infusion in Experimental Escherichia coli Sepsis

DT:  November 30, 1984

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

SO:  Infection and Immunity, Vol. 48, No. 3, 1985, pp 607-610

AB:  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 umol/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.