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J Infect Dis. 2000 Aug;182(2):482-9. Epub 2000 Jul 28.

Alcohol consumption by C57BL/6 mice is associated with depletion of lymphoid cells from the gut-associated lymphoid tissues and altered resistance to oral infections with Salmonella typhimurium.

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Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport, LA, USA.


Studies were done to test whether ethanol (ETOH) consumption alters resistance to mucosal and systemic infections by Salmonella typhimurium. S. typhimurium-immune and -nonimmune mice were fed 1 of 3 diets (an ETOH-containing liquid diet, an isocaloric liquid diet equal in volume to that of the ETOH-treated group, or laboratory chow) in a pair-feeding design and were infected orally or intravenously with S. typhimurium. The number of bacteria in spleen and liver and the effect of ETOH feeding and infection on the number of lymphoid cells in the gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) were determined. ETOH feeding resulted in profound loss of GALT lymphoid cells and an increased number of Salmonella organisms in the intestines, liver, and spleen of infected nonimmune, but not of immune, mice. These data show that ETOH consumption in this model impairs host defense mechanisms that control mucosal infections and inhibits the mechanisms that control levels of bacteria in the central organs.

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