Impact of Campylobacter spp. on the integrity of the porcine gut
Campylobacter (C.) is the most common food-borne zoonosis in humans, which mainly manifests with watery to bloody diarrhoea. While C. jejuni is responsible for most cases of infection, C. coli is less frequently encountered. The object of the study was to prove the clinical impact of mono- and co-colonisation of C. coli and C. jejuni on weaned piglets in an infection model and to investigate the impact on transepithelial transport processes in the jejunum and caecum. At an age of eight weeks, eight pigs were infected with C. coli (ST-5777), 10 pigs with C. jejuni (ST-122), eight pigs with both strains, and 11 piglets served as control. During the four-week observation period, no clinical signs were observed. During dissection, both strains could be isolated from the jejunum and the caecum, but no alteration of the tissue could be determined histopathologically. Mono-infection with C. jejuni showed an impact on transepithelial ion transport processes of the caecum. An increase in the short circuit current (Isc) was observed in the Ussing chamber resulting from carbachol- and forskolin-mediated Cl- secretion. Therefore, we speculate that caecal colonisation of C. jejuni might affect the transport mechanisms of the intestinal mucosa without detectable inflammatory reaction.