Primary and secondary endogenous infections

Endogenous infections can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary endogenous infections are caused by potentially pathogenic micro-organisms already present in the throat or gastrointestinal tract on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), whereas secondary endogenous infections are caused by potentially pathogenic micro-organisms acquired during the patient's stay in the ICU which secondarily colonize the throat and intestinal tract. Although both exogenous infections and secondary endogenous infections are caused by 'exogenous' micro-organisms, in the former the multiplication phase of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms is outside the body whereas in the latter it is inside the oropharynx or gastrointestinal tract. This difference is important from the point of view of prophylaxis, because the multiplication of pathogens inside the body can be prevented by SDD.

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