Experimental Campylobacter jenuni infection in Macaca nemestrina

R. G. Russell, M. J. Blaser, J. I. Sarmiento, J. Fox

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66 Scopus citations


Experimental infection of four specific-pathogen-free Macaca nemestrina monkeys (aged 3.5 and 4.5 months) with Campylobacter jejuni 81-176 caused acute diarrheal illness, characterized by fluid diarrhea, bloody stools, and fecal leukocytes, which lasted for approximately 7 to 11 days. Histologic examination of intestinal biopsies showed acute colitis characterized by infiltration of the mucosa with neutrophils and lymphocytes, and cryptitis. There were no histologic changes in the small intestine. Excretion of C. jejuni was demonstrated for 2 to 4 weeks postchallenge. Plasma antibodies to C. jejuni group antigen were elevated after challenge. Only mild diarrhea occurred after rechallenge with the same strain or with a heterologous C. jejuni strain (79-168) followed by further elevation in specific immunoglobulins A, M, and G. Four 1-year-old juvenile M. nemestrina monkeys which had experienced multiple infections with Campylobacter spp. did not exhibit illness when challenged with C. jejuni 81-176. All had elevated immunoglobulin A, M, and G plasma antibodies prior to challenge, and these humoral antibody levels were indicative of the immunity to challenge. The results demonstrate that C. jejuni infection in M. nemestrina caused colitis with clinical and pathologic results similar to those found in humans and indicate that prior infection protects against subsequent challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1438-1444
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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