Experimental infection of rabbit ligated ileal loops with Treponema hyodysenteriae

F. C. Knoop

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4 Scopus citations


An in vivo animal model was used to assess the enteropathogenicity of the etiological agent (Treponema hyodysenteriae) of swine dysentery. Multiple ligated ileal loops, prepared in New Zealand white rabbits, were challenged with either pathogenic (B78 and B204) or nonpathogenic (Pu) isolates of the organism. The pathogenic isolates induced the onset of intestinal fluid accumulation as early as 4 hr, with maximal fluid induction at 18 hr postchallenge. Gross lesions of the intestinal mucosa, observed in ileal loops of rabbits sacrificed 24 hr postchallenge, were characteristic of swine dysentery. Both pathogenic isolates colonized the epithelial surface and eroded the mucosal barrier, as determined by histological and scanning electron microscopic observations. Intestinal fluid accumulation and erosion of the mucosal barrier were not observed in ileal loops exposed to the nonpathogenic isolate (Pu) or to either of the nonviable pathogenic (B78 and B204) isolates. The ability of pathogenic isolates to initiate and produce infection in rabbit ligated ileal loops, which closely resembles the disease in swine, provides a system with which to study experimental swine dysentery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1201
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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