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Forty 3- to 17-week old domestic ferrets, including 2 gnotobiotes, were inoculated orally and/or rectally with 106 to 109 colony-forming units of 1 or more of 4 strains of Campylobacter jejuni, 3 of mink and 1 of human origin. Feeding or gavage of any of the 4 strains, in milk or broth, with or without preinoculation sodium bicarbonate treatment to neutralize stomach acid, induced colonization in 38/40 ferrets; diarrhea lasted 2 to 4 days in conventional kits, 6 days in gnotobiotes. Bacteremia was detected in 4 of 18 tested, 2 to 5 days after inoculation. Two strains caused no more severe disease or prolonged colonization after 3 serial iv passages in kits than they did before passage. Multiple inoculations with a given strain resulted in progressively briefer colonization and milder disease, but subsequent inoculation with a different strain induced colonization and gastrointestinal disease similar to a primary infection. Five kits inoculated rectally after 4 previous homologous inoculations were resistant to colonization as well as to disease. Agglutinin titers of ferrets inoculated orally or rectally once were low or undetectable, but increased in response to repeated inoculation. Pretreatment with a 1% formalin enema caused mild colon irritation without clinical or histologic evidence of proliferative colitis in ferrets concurrently inoculated orally and/or rectally, whether or not they had preexisting antibodies to any strain of C jejuni. Histologic examination of tissues revealed leukocytic infiltration of intestinal lamina propria in 29 of 35 infected kits and 5 of 8 noninfected controls, and cryptosporidiosis in 5 infected kits plus 1 control. Examination of silver-stained sections of intestine from 15 infected ferrets revealed Campylobacter like organisms on the surface of, but never inside, epithelial cells. The lack of characteristic gross or histologic lesions suggested that C jejuni is not, by itself, responsible for proliferative colitis in ferrets.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

.1136/jcp.47.3.227 47. Kleinschmidt S , Meneses F , Nolte I , et al. Retrospective study on the diagnostic value of full-thickness biopsies from the stomach and intestines of dogs with chronic gastrointestinal disease symptoms . Vet Pathol

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research