Biliary obstruction in the setting of hepatic bacterial infection has great morbidity and mortality. We developed a novel murine model to examine the effect of biliary obstruction on the clearance of hepatic Escherichia coli infection. This model may allow us to test the hypothesis that biliary obstruction itself adversely affects clearance of hepatic infections even if the bacteria are introduced into the liver by a nonbiliary route. We ligated the bile ducts of C57BL/6 mice on days -1, 0, or +1, relative to a day 0 portal venous injection of E. coli. We monitored survival, hepatic bacterial growth, pathology, and IL-10 protein levels. The role of IL-10 in this model was further examined using IL-10 knockout mice. Mice with bile duct ligation at day +1 or 0, relative to portal venous infection at day 0, had decreased survival compared with mice with only portal venous infection. The impaired survival was associated with greater hepatic bacterial growth, hepatic necrosis, and increased production of IL-10. Interestingly, the transgenic knockout of IL-10 resulted in impaired survival in mice with bile duct ligation and portal venous infection. Biliary obstruction had a dramatic detrimental effect on hepatic clearance of portal venous E. coli infection. This impaired clearance is associated with increased IL-10 production. However, transgenic knockout of IL-10 increased mortality after hepatic infection.