Pathogenesis of salmonellosis. Studies of fluid secretion, mucosal invasion, and morphologic reaction in the rabbit ileum

J Clin Invest. 1973 Feb;52(2):441-53. doi: 10.1172/JCI107201.


Strains of Salmonella typhimurium were studied in the ligated rabbit ileal loop model to gain insight into the mechanisms whereby bacteria which invade the gastrointestinal mucosa evoke fluid exsorption. The organisms employed differed in various biologic attributes including the ability to invade the ileal epithelium, multiply within the mucosa, elicit an acute inflammatory reaction, and disseminate across the intestinal wall. Some strains provoked small intestinal fluid exsorption although these did not elaborate enterotoxin. Only those strains which invaded the mucosa were accompanied by either mucosal inflammation or fluid exsorption. Noninvasive strains produced neither histologic abnormalities nor fluid secretion. While strains which invaded the mucosa caused an acute inflammatory reaction, not all such strains evoked fluid secretion. Furthermore, there was no correlation in ability of invasive organisms to evoke fluid secretion or in the intensity of mucosal inflammation, number of intramucosal salmonellae, or in ability to disseminate from the rabbit ileum. These observations suggest that, as is the case in shigellosis, mucosal invasion may be a necessary factor for the intestinal fluid loss in salmonellosis. A bacterial property or factor, in addition to invasion of the gastrointestinal mucosa, seems to be responsible for fluid exsorptin. However, it is unlikely that a salmonella enterotoxin comparable to that elaborated by Vibrio cholerae, toxigenic Escherichia coli, or Shigella dysenteriae 1 is related to fluid secretion in salmonellosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enterotoxins
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Haplorhini
  • Ileum
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Intestines / pathology*
  • Macaca
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Salmonella Infections / pathology*
  • Salmonella typhimurium


  • Enterotoxins