Evidence has been provided that a state of irreversible hemorrhagic shock can be induced in a bacteria-free environment in rats reared under germfree conditions. The response to bleeding, the duration of the hypotensive episode and the pathological changes were the same in the germfree and in normal stock rats. The findings are interpreted as evidence opposed to the concept that bacteria or bacterial products are implicated, as primary factors, in the pathogenicity of shock.

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