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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2005 May;28(3):223-30.

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis enters the small intestinal mucosa of goat kids in areas with and without Peyer's patches as demonstrated with the everted sleeve method.

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Department of Animal Health, National Veterinary Institute, Ullevålsveien 68, P.O. Box 8156 Dep., 0033 Oslo, Norway.


The main lesions of paratuberculosis in ruminants are in the small intestine. Previous studies have shown that the bacterium enters the small intestine through M cells found in the follicle-associated epithelium lining the domes of the Peyer's patches. The everted sleeve method, devised for the in vitro study of intestinal absorption, was used in this study to investigate the uptake of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in goat intestine. Everted small intestinal sleeves of goat kids, prepared from areas with and without Peyer's patches, were incubated for 60 min in 3H-labeled bacterial solution. The results of this study imply that the bacteria can enter the intestinal mucosa of the jejunum, both in areas with and without Peyer's patches. These findings indicate, therefore, that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis bacteria not only enter through M cells but also through enterocytes.

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