Location and description of spiral-shaped microorganisms in the normal rat cecum

Infection and Immunity
By: , and 



Some indigenous microorganisms have been shown to localize in certain anatomical sites of the digestive tract of mammals. We studied the ceca of normal adult rats by light and electron microscopy to determine whether any specific bacterial population localizes in this area. All rats studied showed that the crypt was packed with organisms whose morphological character differs from those of the cecal lumen. Organisms localized in the crypt were often identified topographically close to the microvilli of the epithelial cells. These organisms could be differentiated into three types according to their characteristic ultrastructure. Type 1 was a thin spiral-shaped microbe that resembled a Borrelia. Type 2 possessed helically coiled fibers and flagella-like appendages. Type 3 was spiral-shaped but lacked axial fibers. Types 1 and 2 were both capable of penetrating through the crypt epithelium into the lamina propria where they were found in either phagocytes or extracellular locations. These observations are discussed in relation to other host-microflora localization patterns.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Location and description of spiral-shaped microorganisms in the normal rat cecum
Series title Infection and Immunity
Volume 6
Issue 2
Year Published 1972
Language English
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 184
Last page 192
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