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Duodenal microflora

A prospective study in pediatric gastrointestinal disorders


Culture of the duodenal microflora was performed on 96 infants and children with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. The resident microflora consists predominantly of oral-type microorganisms such as α-Streptococci andNeisseria. A fecal-type microflora was found in all 6 infants with postsurgical diarrhea and temporary monosaccharide intolerance; 4 of 22 patients with protracted diarrhea of infancy, 3 of 22 patients with celiac disease, and none of 32 patients with nonspecific diarrhea or 14 others with miscellaneous disorders. Anaerobic microorganisms were seldom isolated. Only 9% of the duodenal cultures were completely sterile, although a further 17 had a quantitative culture less than 5 × 104 microorganisms/ml. Smallbowel contamination with fecal-type microorganisms is associated with stasis and disturbance of the normal peristaltic-clearing mechanism. Duodenal culture is essential in any infant with temporary monosaccharide intolerance. It is occasionally useful in other situations where motility may be disturbed.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to John D. Lloyd-Still MB, MRCP.

Additional information

Supported in part by a grant from the National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation.

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Lloyd-Still, J.D., Shwachman, H. Duodenal microflora. Digest Dis Sci 20, 708–715 (1975).

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  • Public Health
  • Diarrhea
  • Celiac Disease
  • Monosaccharide
  • Gastrointestinal Disorder