Infection is an invasion and growth of a biological agent (microorganism) in the body of a host. Microorganisms are viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. Infection compromises normal functioning of host organism that could lead to the development of non-healing chronic wounds, tissue necrosis, extremity loss, even death. Inflammation is one of reactions of our organism against infection. The first and the most important defense line are leukocytes. Partial pressure of oxygen and quantity of oxygen play an important role since oxygen acts as an antibiotic interfering with bacteria metabolism. This effect is not selective but is present in a broad spectrum of microorganisms. The most efficient effect is seen in anaerobic organisms.

Application of HBOT:

  • Enhances phagocytosis that is compromised in hypoxia;
  • Increases partial pressure of oxygen in tissues and enables adequate oxygen supply to the infected area;
  • Produces free oxygen radicals that are toxic for bacteria;
  • Enhances wound healing;
  • In bone infections, helps removing necrotic bone (osteoclastic function) and speeds up new bone formation (osteoblastic function);
  • Stimulates immune mechanisms,
  • Combined with sulphonamides, acts synergistically and increases their effect 5 to 10 times;
  • Efficiency in the treatment of infections resistant to other drugs;
  • Potentiates effect of aminoglycosides;
  • Exerts bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects;
  • Halts production of egzotoxin, namely α-toxin produced by Cl. perfringens, and detoxifies some toxins, namely θ-toxin produced by Cl. perfringens.

HBOT could be used as an adjunct in the treatment of fungal infections, especially with Candida albicans and in Rhinocerebral mucormycosis. Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is a fungal infection of lungs, brain, intestine and bones (maxillary, orbital and temporal), that most often occur in immunocompromised.

viruses non-healing chronic wounds bacteria fungi parasites oxygen therapy