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Infect Immun. Dec 1983; 42(3): 1176–1182.
PMCID: PMC264422

Simple adult rabbit model for Campylobacter jejuni enteritis.


We tested the usefulness of the Removable Intestinal Tie Adult Rabbit Diarrhea model to establish Campylobacter jejuni infection in rabbits. The procedure involved ligation of the cecum, placement of a slip knot at the terminal ileum, and injection of the test inoculum into the mid-small bowel. The ends of the slip knot were externalized, and the tie was released 4 h later. Fifty-five rabbits received C. jejuni, and 16 received uninoculated medium as controls. Daily rectal swabs were positive for 2 weeks in infected rabbits. The diarrheal attack rate was 64% in infected rabbits and 0% in controls. Diarrhea was characterized by loose, mucus-containing stools after an incubation period ranging from 24 h to 6 days. When blood was obtained daily for culture from 30 rabbits for 4 days post-challenge, bacteremia was present in 96.3% 24 h after challenge but diminished to 5 of 19 (26.3%) at 96 h. Death occurred in 53% of rabbits and was always preceded by diarrhea. No control animal died. Only 5 of 35 animals experiencing diarrhea recovered. An indirect whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to determine serum immunoglobulin G responses. Mean titers rose from 1:198 preoperatively to 1:9,087 on day 28. Necropsy on eight infected and two control animals showed inflammatory lesions with ulceration in 62.5% and goblet cell hyperplasia in 75% of infected rabbits. We conclude that the Removable Intestinal Tie Adult Rabbit Diarrhea procedure is a simple, effective method to establish C. jejuni infection which mimics human disease.

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Selected References

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