Changes in Pig Intestinal Structure and Functions and Resident Microbiota Induced by Acute Secretory Diarrhea

  • Gayatri Chandra
  • Monika Oli
  • Bryon W. Petschow
  • Randal K. Buddington


Diarrhea continues to be an important problem worldwide. Although the losses of fluid and electrolytes during diarrhea are well understood, much less is known about the impact on intestinal structure, function and resident microbiota. Therefore, we studied weanling pigs with acute diarrhea induced by cholera toxin. At peak diarrhea, body weight, small intestinal mass and absorptive surface area, and glucose transport capacities were lower; whereas, hematocrit, stool water content and activities of sucrase, maltase and lactase were higher. Total bacterial densities of lumenal contents from the small intestine, cecum and colon were reduced by up to 90%, especially lactobacilli; whereas, bacteria associated with the small intestinal mucosa were less affected. After 24 hr of oral rehydration therapy, glucose transport and aminooligopeptidase activity remained low and disaccharidase activities were high. Although total bacterial densities had recovered, relative proportions of the different groups were disturbed. Present oral electrolyte solutions address water and ion losses but not changes in intestinal structure, functions and resident microbiota. The pig is a suitable model for studying the impact of diarrhea on the gastrointestinal ecosystem and will be useful for development of improved oral electrolyte solutions that accelerate recovery of the intestine.


Cholera Toxin Acute Diarrhea Oral Rehydration Therapy Secretory Diarrhea Disaccharidase Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gayatri Chandra
    • 1
  • Monika Oli
    • 1
  • Bryon W. Petschow
    • 2
  • Randal K. Buddington
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological SciencesMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.Mead Johnson and CompanyEvansvilleUSA

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