Parenteral products are intended for administration by injection, by infusion, or by implantation into the human body. Products normally totally free from microbiological contamination or colonization are delivered to internal tissues, while the parenteral route of administration deliberately bypasses the body's external physical barriers to infection.
No distinction can be made between microorganisms known to specifically cause infectious disease in humans, from those customarily thought to be harmless or benign. Once the body's external defensive barriers have been broken down, it is reasonably conservative to assume that any microorganism may potentially find nourishment in internal tissues, thereafter proliferating and causing infection.
Virtually any microorganisms can cause infections in immunosuppressed or immunodeficient patients. None of the four bacterial species (classed according to Bergey) associated with the fatalities of the 1970s (Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter agglomerans, Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella aerogenes) are thought to be more than "opportunistically" pathogenic, and all may be found living in commensal association with healthy humans. Commonly found skin bacteria such as Staphylococcus epidermidis are not unusually found in postoperative infections.
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