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J Med Microbiol. 1998 Jul;47(7):591-8.

Bacterial translocation, intestinal microflora and morphological changes of intestinal mucosa in experimental models of Clostridium difficile infection.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Tartu, Finland.


Bacteraemia and subsequent sepsis is one possible complication of Clostridium difficile infection. The aim of this study was to examine a correlation between bacterial translocation with morphological changes of intestinal mucosa and shifts of intestinal microflora in experimental models of C. difficile infection. A mouse model was used to study post-antibiotic shifts and mild C. difficile infection, and hamsters were used to study fatal enterocolitis. The influence of pro- and pre-biotics (lactobacilli and xylitol) were also studied in the hamster model. The quantitative composition of luminal and mucosal microflora was evaluated in different intestinal loci, inflammatory changes of mucosa were estimated in histological sections and bacterial translocation was detected in samples from blood, liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes. In cases of mild C. difficile infection, the extent of disturbance of intestinal microflora appeared to be a more important promoting factor in translocation than inflammatory activity in the mucosa. Translocation was frequent in fatal enterocolitis, with facultative species predominating in the intestinal mucosa and also C. difficile in some cases. The combination of lactobacilli and xylitol had some protective effect against C. difficile infection in these models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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