, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 682-689,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 07 Mar 2007

The Use of Animal Models to Study Bacterial Translocation During Acute Pancreatitis


Infection of pancreatic necrosis with intestinal flora is accepted to be a main predictor of outcome during severe acute pancreatitis. Bacterial translocation is the process whereby luminal bacteria migrate to extraintestinal sites. Animal models were proven indispensable in detecting three major aspects of bacterial translocation: small bowel bacterial overgrowth, mucosal barrier failure, and disturbed immune responses. Despite the progress made in the knowledge of bacterial translocation, the exact mechanism, origin and route of bacteria, and the optimal prophylactic and treatment strategies remain unclear. Methodological restrictions of animal models are likely to be the cause of this uncertainty. A literature review of animal models used to study bacterial translocation during acute pancreatitis demonstrates that many experimental techniques per se interfere with intestinal flora, mucosal barrier function, or immune response. Interference with these major aspects of bacterial translocation complicates interpretation of study results. This paper addresses these and other issues of animal models most frequently used to study bacterial translocation during acute pancreatitis.