Submitted to: Veterinary Clinics of North America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Intestinal diseases of livestock result in serious economic losses for producers. In addition, several intestinal diseases of livestock may be transmitted to humans. In this review article, specific mechanisms of inflammation induced by intestinal pathogens of livestock are discussed with a special emphasis on immune-mediated pathways. A review of recent developments in alternative treatment modalities of intestinal inflammation is also provided. Information provided in this review will provide veterinarians with basic and applied information concerning inflammatory disorders of the bowel of food-producing animals.
Technical Abstract: Inflammation is the progression of vascular changes in response to injury leading to accumulation of fluids and leukocytes in the extracellular space. Endothelial cell activation leads to an increased permeability of capillaries and venules resulting in leakage of fluids and leukocytes from these small vessels. Trauma, toxins, or chemical mediators such as cytokines, histamine, leukotrienes, bradykinins elicit activation of endothelial cells. While inflammation is fundamentally a protective response, excessive inflammation may result in hypersensitivity, fibrosis, or other harmful reactions. Within the intestinal mucosa, a physiologic steady state between reactivity to luminal antigens and down regulation of inflammation provides protection and gut homeostasis, respectively. Stimulation with certain microbes and/or their toxins may alter this balance resulting in inflammatory diseases of the bowel.