The susceptibility of mice to intravenous injection of coagulase-positive hemolytic staphylococci was estimated by (a) observing the extent and time of mortality of infected animals; (b) determining the number of colonies of cocci that could be recovered from the liver and spleen at various intervals of time after infection.
Complete deprival of food for 36 to 48 hours immediately before infection was found to increase susceptibility. This infection-enhancing effect was further increased by allowing the animals to drink a 5 per cent glucose solution instead of water or saline during the fasting period. In contrast, sodium lactate partially corrected the effect of fasting. The infection-enhancing effect of fasting was reversible.
Mice prevented from gaining weight for several weeks either by restricting their daily food intake, or by feeding them ad lib. an inadequate diet, appeared just as resistant to staphylococcal infection as did mice that gained weight rapidly on an unrestricted, complete diet.