Experimental low ileal strangulation obstruction has been produced in germfree and conventional rats. The mean survival time was 240 hours in the germfree rats and 44 hours in the conventional controls. 4 of the 10 germfree rats survived 15 or more days, whereas the 10 conventional animals were all dead within 2½ days.
The strangulation obstruction fluid from the germfree animals was sterile and non-toxic when injected into mice even after a fourfold concentration. The same fluid from the conventional animals contained a great number of microorganisms and caused death within 24 hours when injected intraperitoneally into mice.