Blind loops prepared in the small intestines of fasted, MgSO-treated rats were shown to provide a simple, consistent and inexpensive means of studying mucosal colonisation by serogroup O1. When 2000 cfu were injected, the number of mucosa-associated in each loop increased by 5-6 orders of magnitude in 10-14 h, without enterotoxin-induced fluid production. Scanning electronmicroscopy and culture suggested that most surface-associated organisms were present in the adherent surface mucus. strains varied in terms of surface-colonising capacity.

Immunisation with given intra-intestinally greatly reduced the rate of increase and final number of mucosa-associated vibrios within the 14-h period after challenge. The method could be used to compare the immunity induced by various immunising regimens. Immunity was sometimes accompanied by intestinal mucusborne antibody against lipopolysaccharide but was sometimes demonstrated in the absence of such antibody or of mucus-borne antibody to heat-sensitive surface protein.


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