date:Univ Utrecht, Fac Vet Med, Dept Farm Anim Hlth, NL-3584 CL Utrecht, Netherlands; Inst Anim Sci & Hlth, Lelystad, Netherlands
Sepsis with subsequent multisystem organ failure after translocation of bacteria from the gut is a serious risk associated with stress situations. We showed that intestinal bacterial translocation could be one of the pathways for pathogenic Streptococcus suis infections in the pig. In 24 piglets weighing 10-14 kg, free of the extracellular factor (EF+) producing phenotype of S. suis serotype 2, a silicon canula was placed in the proximal jejunum to enable intestinal inoculation and bypassing the upper alimentary tract. The pigs were individually housed. After stress induction in 18 pigs by means of a truck drive in individual cages for 1 h, pigs were inoculated through the intestinal canula either with S. suis type 2 EF+ or with growth medium only, and put back in their original housing. The six not transported pigs were also inoculated with the same strain. To prevent oral self-infection, faeces were collected in a bag that was glued around the anus. Clinical and behavioral symptoms were recorded for 72 h post inoculation, and then the animals were sacrificed for pathological and bacteriological examination. In three animals, the inoculation strain was re-isolated from mesenterial lymph nodes and typically affected organs. No S. suis type 2 EF+ was detected by specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in any of the tonsil-swabs and -homogenates. We concluded that infection of the organs had taken place after bacterial translocation out of the gut and that the intestinal tract can be a porte d'entree for S. suis type 2 EF+. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.