Evaluation of swine enteroids as in vitro models for Lawsonia intracellularis infection

Talita Pilar Resende, Ramya Lekha Medida, Fabio A. Vannucci, Milena Saqui-Salces, Connie Gebhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The enteric pathogen Lawsonia intracellularis is one of the main causes of diarrhea and compromised weight gain in pigs worldwide. Traditional cell-line cultures have been used to study L. intracellularis pathogenesis. However, these systems fail to reproduce the epithelial changes observed in the intestines of L. intracellularis-infected pigs, specifically, the changes in intestinal cell constitution and gene expression. A more physiologically accurate and state-of-the-art model is provided by swine enteroids derived from stem cell-containing crypts from healthy pigs. The objective of this study was to verify the feasibility of two-dimensional swine enteroids as in vitro models for L. intracellularis infection. We established both three- and two-dimensional swine enteroid cultures derived from intestinal crypts. The two-dimensional swine enteroids were infected by L. intracellularis in four independent experiments. Enteroid-infected samples were collected 3 and 7 d postinfection for analysis using real-time quantitative PCR and L. intracellularis immunohistochemistry. In this study, we show that L. intracellularis is capable of infecting and replicating intracellularly in two-dimensional swine enteroids derived from ileum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberskaa011
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 24 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1This work was supported by Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Hatch grant no. MIN-16-112/project accession no. 1013172 and by Multistate grant no. MIN-63-118/project accession no. 1017605 from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 2The authors wish to thank the technical support provided by Erika Vasquez, Lacey Marshall Lund, the University of Minnesota Comparative Pathology Shared Resource, and University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Immunohistochemical Section.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.


  • Lawsonia intracellularis
  • in vitro model
  • intracellular bacteria
  • organoids
  • pathogenesis
  • proliferative enteropathy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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