We compared the rectal microflora of 16 patients with surgically excluded colorectum with 16 healthy controls. The cause of diversion was inflammatory bowel disease (n = 10), colon cancer (n = 3), miscellaneous (n = 3). Six patients had a diversion colitis. In the excluded colorectum, the total bacterial count was only slightly lower than controls but the variety of the flora was significantly reduced. This reduction was confined to strict anaerobes, mainly the genus Eubacterium and Bifidobacterium. Among aerobes, enterobacteria were more often isolated than in controls. This altered microflora of excluded colorectum could be involved in the mucosal damage observed in some cases.
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