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Translocation of micro-organisms from the gastrointestinal tract may play a role in the pathogenesis of septic complications in severely burned patients. We therefore investigated the influence of burn wound infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa on translocation in experimentally burned mice. The P. aeruginosa disseminated in 15% of the animals on the second day and in 20% of the animals on the third day postburn in the Psudomonas-seeded group. Wound colonization with P. aeruginosa, compared with a control group, led to an increased incidence of translocation of Escherichia coli from the Gl tract to the spleen (p > 0.005), liver (p > 0.03), lungs (p > 0.005), and peritoneal cavity (p > 0.03) on the second day postburn but not on the third day postburn. On both the second and third days, the number of viable E. coli in the organs in the Pseudomonas-seeded group exceeded that in the organs in the control group. In this moded translocation of E. coli from the Gl tract played a more important role than did hematogeneous dissemination of P. aeruginosa from the burn wound.