The haemolysin from a virulent strain of was extracted and injected into ligated loops of the ileum and colon of germ-free pigs. It caused severe epithelial damage, especially to the differentiated cells at the tips of the villi in the ileum and the cells in the intercrypt zones of the colon; goblet cells were less affected. The changes in the colon were similar to those seen in natural cases of swine dysentery. The ligated loop offers a means of investigating pathogenic mechanisms and the mode of action of the toxin. This study demonstrated that the haemolysin was a potent cytotoxin for pig enterocytes, and a probable virulence determinant in swine dysentery.


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