Severe burn injury has been de-nmented to significantly increase resting metabolic energy expenditure. I increase in metabolic rate appears to be possibly correlated with the degree of burn wound colonization and infection with bacteria. Prevention of such colonization and infection through the use of topical antimicrobial agents appears to decrease the metabolic alterations resulting from burn injury. These. findings indicate that appropriate use of topical antibact. -`'P agents may decrease the metabolic demands seen in burned patier u P • -i tduced translocation of intestinal bacteria has also been hypott teo~d c co,-tl-bute to thie postburn hypermetabolic response. Attempts aW preventing this entity in a burned guinea pig model through the use of seleo. tive decontamination of the digestive tract by the administration of enteral ar aibiotics have failed to demonstrate any measurable effect.