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Open Access Catheterization of Intestinal Loops in Ruminants Does Not Adversely Affect Loop Function

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Catheterized intestinal loops may be a valuable model to elucidate key components of the host response to various treatments within the small intestine of ruminants. We examined whether catheterizing ileal loops in sheep affected the overall health of animals and intestinal function, whether a bacterial treatment could be introduced into the loops through the catheters, and whether broad-spectrum antibiotics could sterilize the loops. Escherichia coli cells transformed to express the GFP gene were introduced readily into the loops through the catheters, and GFP E. coli cells were localized within the injected loops. Catheterized loops, interspaces, and intact ileum exhibited no abnormalities in tissue appearance or electrical resistance. Expression of the IFN, IL1α, IL4, IL6, IL12p40, IL18, TGF1, and TNFα cytokine genes did not differ significantly among the intact ileum, catheterized loops, and interspaces, nor did the expression of the gene for inducible nitric oxide synthase. Broad-spectrum antibiotics administered during surgery did not sterilize the loops or interspaces and did not substantively change the composition of the microbiota. However, antibiotics reduced the overall number of bacterial cells within the loop and the relative abundance of community constituents. We concluded that catheterization of intestinal loops did not adversely affect health or loop function in sheep. Furthermore, allowing animals to recover fully from surgery and to clear pharmaceuticals will remove any confounding effects due to these factors, making catheterized intestinal loops a feasible model for studying host responses in ruminants.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Canada 2: Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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