Enterovirulence of Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis in Gnotobiotic Pigs

J. R. Duimstra, L. L. Myers, Jim Collins, D. A. Benfield, D. S. Shoop, W. C. Bradbury

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25 Scopus citations


A porcine isolate of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis colonized the intestinal tract and caused watery, nonhemorrhagic diarrhea when given orally to 12, 1- to 2-day-old gnotobiotic pigs. Diarrhea occurred 2 to 3 days post-inoculation and continued throughout the 4 to 6 day post-inoculation period. Diarrheic pigs became mildly anorexic and dehydrated. They developed intestinal lesions characterized by swelling, vacuolation, and exfoliation of enterocytes, and crypt hyperplasia throughout the large intestine and, to a lesser extent, in the distal small intestine. Bacterial adherence to, or invasion of, the intestinal mucosa was not detected. A porcine isolate of nonenterotoxigenic B. fragilis was administered orally to six control pigs. The isolate colonized the intestinal tract, but the pigs did not develop clinical disease or intestinal lesions. The pathogenetic mechanism of the disease may involve mediation by a soluble enterotoxin (or toxins) elaborated by B. fragilis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-518
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1991


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