Bacterial translocation (BT) is defined as the passage of enteric bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract to extraintestinal tissues. Bacterial overgrowth is one of the main promoting factors of BT, which is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis. It is believed that small-bowel colonization is established by bacterial spread through the rectum. Gastric acid is also involved in this process. An experimental study was designed for investigating the effect of gastric acid inhibition with the use of an H2-receptor antagonist on intestinal colonization and BT in newborn rats. Animals were divided into two groups: the ranitidine group (n = 20) received ranitidine 10 mg/kg per day intramuscularly for 5 days; the control group (n = 30) received saline solution. Mesenteric lymph node, spleen, liver, stomach, small bowel/cecum, and large bowel specimens were obtained from each rat 5 days later and gram-negative and -positive aerobic bacteria identified by the use of chocolate and Endo agar. It is concluded that: (1) there was a strong correlation between gastric and small-bowel bacterial colonization in the ranitidine group; (2) no correlation between large-and small-bowel colonization could be demonstrated; and (3) BT occurred only in the ranitidine group.