Specific Amplification of Ileal Symbiont Intracellularis from Several Animal Species with Proliferative Enteritis

  • Dale M. Cooper
  • Connie J. Gebhart
  • Debra L. Swanson


Proliferative enteritis (PE) is an enteric disease that occurs at weanling age in a variety of animals, including the pig, hamster and horse.4,6,18 There are a variety of clinical presentations, including subclinical disease, reduced weight gain, diarrhoea, and an acute hemorrhagic form. Lesions of PE also vary, but all cases present with hyperplasia of the ileal crypt epithelium and large numbers of small, curved intracellular bacteria within the apical cytoplasm of crypt enterocytes (Fig. 1 and 2). These bacteria can be demonstrated with silver staining18 Other lesions such as gross thickening of the mucosa, inflammation, necrosis, and hemorrhage are variable and may represent complications with concurrent infections, variable chronicity, or host factors.18 The intracellular bacterium of PE has been referred to as a Campylobacter-like organism because of its morphology. However, 16S rDNA sequencing of the organism purified from pig and hamster intestines has shown it to share approximately 90% homology with Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and it has been given the vernacular name Ileal Symbiont (IS) intracellularis.7,17 Transmission studies in hamsters and pigs have confirmed the role of IS intracellularis as the causative agent of PE13, 16, 19.


Diatomaceous Earth Ileal Mucosa Apical Cytoplasm Reduce Weight Gain Guanidine Thiocyanate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale M. Cooper
    • 1
  • Connie J. Gebhart
    • 1
  • Debra L. Swanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Comparative Medicine, Research Animal Resources, Medical SchoolUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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