Relationship between ileal symbiont intracellularis and porcine proliferative enteritis

G. F. Jones, G. E. Ward, M. P. Murtaugh, R. Rose, C. J. Gebhart

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24 Scopus citations


The relationship between Ileal symbiont (IS) intracellularis, formerly known as a Campylobacter-like organism, and porcine proliferative enteritis (PE) was studied by use of pigs with experimentally transmitted PE. Twenty one pigs were experimentally inoculated with homogenized ileal mucosa from a pig that died with PE, and 7 were maintained as uninoculated controls. Fecal samples were collected, and pigs were necropsied weekly postinoculation. Light microscopy and electron microscopy were used to examine tissues for lesions of PE and infectious agents. DNA was extracted from the fecal samples and assayed for the presence of sequences specific for IS intracellularis by dot blot hybridization and polymerase chain reaction amplification. IS intracellularis was detected by the polymerase chain reaction in the feces of 20 of 21 inoculated pigs but not in the feces of uninoculated pigs. Seven inoculated pigs but no uninoculated pigs were detected shedding IS intracellularis by dot blot hybridization. Shedding was detected 1 to 5 weeks after inoculation, and clinical signs were seen in the second to fifth weeks after inoculation. Few pigs without lesions of PE were found to shed IS intracellularis. There was a highly significant association between the presence of IS intracellularis in feces or tissue and the presence of microscopic proliferative lesions and between the severity of the lesions of PE and the percentage of IS intracellularis-infected intestinal crypts. Pigs that ceased shedding IS intracellularis were significantly less likely to have proliferative lesions. These and previous reports are consistent with the hypothesis that IS intracellularis is a necessary causative agent of PE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5237-5244
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1993


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