Evaluation of porcine ileum models of enterocyte infection by Lawsonia intracellularis

Steven McOrist, Connie J. Gebhart, Brad T. Bosworth

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17 Scopus citations


The early interaction of Lawsonia intracellularis with host cells was examined with the use of porcine ileum models. Two conventional swine were anesthetized, and ligated ileum loops were prepared during abdominal surgery. The loops were inoculated with 108 L. intracellularis or saline. After 60 min, samples of each loop were processed for routine histologic and electron microscopic study. Histologic and ultrathin sections of all the loops appeared normal, with no apposition of bacteria and host cells or bacterial entry events in any loop. Portions of ileum from a single gnotobiotic piglet were introduced as xenografts into the subcutis of each flank of 5 weaned mice with severe combined immunodeficiency disease. After 4 wk, 108 L. intracellularis were inoculated into each of 4 viable xenografts with a sterile needle; the other 3 viable xenografts received saline. Histologic and ultrathin sections of all the xenografts 3 wk after inoculation showed relatively normal porcine intestinal architecture, with normal crypts, crypt cell differentiation, and low villous structures; the xenografts treated with the bacteria also showed intracytoplasmic L. intracellularis within crypt and villous epithelial cells. Thus, entry of L. intracellularis into target epithelial cells and multiplication may not be sufficient alone to directly cause cell proliferation. A proliferative response may require active division of crypt cells and differentiation in conjunction with L. intracellularis growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


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