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Vet Microbiol. 1983 Feb;8(1):35-43.

Intestinal changes associated with rotavirus and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection in calves.


Newborn calves inoculated with rotavirus, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) serotype 020:K' x 106':K99:HNM, either alone or in combination, became depressed, anorectic, diarrhoeic and dehydrated. ETEC did not adhere to the intestine although there was extensive proliferation in the lumen. Only slight mucosal changes were induced by ETEC and the activity of membrane bound lactase remained normal. More severe mucosal damage and a decrease in lactase activity were found in newborn calves inoculated with either rotavirus or rotavirus and ETEC in combination. The most severe clinical illness was found in calves inoculated with both rotavirus and ETEC. Calves inoculated at 1 week of age with either rotavirus or ETEC remained clinically normal. Rotavirus infection produced slight mucosal changes and a reduction of lactase activity. In contrast, colostrum-fed or suckling calves up to 2 weeks old inoculated with both rotavirus and ETEC became clinically affected, showed severe mucosal damage and decreased lactase activity. There was no bacterial adhesion to the intestinal mucosa as observed by immunofluorescent labelling and light microscopy.

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