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J Comp Pathol. 1984 Apr;94(2):175-81.

Bacterial infection of the common bile duct in chronic fascioliasis in the rat.


Bile taken from rats infected with the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica contained spiral bacteria whereas bile from uninfected rats was free from spiral bacteria. The bacterium and its relationship to the bile duct epithelium and the liver fluke was studied with a combination of light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Its morphological characteristics suggest that the bacterium belongs to the genus Spirillum. In contrast to many other co-infections of bacteria and helminths, the present one seems to be a fairly passive relationship so that neither the helminth nor the rat suffers from the presence of bacteria. The presence of the bacteria is thought to be due to changes in the biliary environment, produced as a result of the fluke infection; these changes subsequently allow a multiplication of bacteria normally present in the uninfected animal.

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