American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
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American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2015, 3(1), 25-32
DOI: 10.12691/ajps-3-1-5
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Effects of Chronic Alcohol Ingestion on Visceral Organs in Albino Mice Experimentally Challenged with Escherichia coli Strain 0157:H7

Asuzu Onyeka V.1, Nwaehujor Chinaka O.2, , Ukagwu Amara L.3 and Nwogwu Innocent C.4

1Department of Animal Production and health, Faculty of Agriculture, Federal University, Oye-ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria

2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

3Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria

4Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

Pub. Date: March 27, 2015

Cite this paper:
Asuzu Onyeka V., Nwaehujor Chinaka O., Ukagwu Amara L. and Nwogwu Innocent C.. Effects of Chronic Alcohol Ingestion on Visceral Organs in Albino Mice Experimentally Challenged with Escherichia coli Strain 0157:H7. American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2015; 3(1):25-32. doi: 10.12691/ajps-3-1-5


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of chronic alcohol consumption on visceral organs when challenged with E. coli strain 0157:H7 using albino mice as an experimental model. Eight weeks old mice of both sexes (26.6 – 35.3g) were used in the study and were divided into 6 groups of 12 mice each using stratified random sampling method. Group 1 was given 10 % ethanol (V/V) in their drinking water. Group 2 received 20 % of ethanol. The third group received 30 % of ethanol while group 4 and 5 received 40 % of alcohol ad-libitum respectively. Group 6 served as control and received only water. The alcohol-receiving groups received ethanol for 3 weeks to establish a chronic state of alcoholism and Groups 1-4 were then challenged with E. coli strain 0157:H7 for 7 days. The mice were then humanely euthanized and dissected. The kidney, liver, stomach, intestine and spleen were collected and fixed in Boiun’s fluid for 24 h and histopathology slides were prepared. The results showed that when the alcohol intoxicated animals were challenged with E. coli, about 90 % of the females in each of the different groups were died between 24-48 h. However, the females in group 5 (without E. coli challenge) survived. Postmortem examination of the animals showed that with increase in the concentration of alcohol in the groups, there was a concentration dependent decrease in the gross size of the kidneys. Gross finding from the carcass showed that there was a relative increase in the size of the stomach with increasing concentration of alcohol consumed. The stomach seemed translucent which was concentration-dependent. With an increase in the concentration, the stomach wall was more transparent. It was also observed that there was a decrease in the peritoneal fat with an increase in the concentration of consumed alcohol. Comparing the sizes of the spleen of the different groups, it was also observed that there was a gradual decrease in the degree of size enlargement of this hematopoietic/lymphatic organ with an increase in alcohol concentration in the presence of E. coli. Histopathology slides showed significant changes with increased necrosis on the spleen, liver and gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and other portal areas due to toxicity from secondary metabolic products of alcohol. The necrosis and quick death of the females was seen more in the alcohol challenged and E. coli infected groups. This was proposed to be as a result of hemo concentration and concurrent weakening of the lymphatic organs, allowing the toxins of the E. coli to act faster and destroy a larger number of cells. Chronic alcohol (ethanol) consumption has adverse pathologic effects on the spleen, liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal organs. Although alcohol is generally obtained from the fermentation of starch-containing food, its abuse and daily consumption causes damage to visceral organs and metabolisms in the body. Thus, when such a body is challenged with a pathogenic organism, there is less resistance to systemic entry of the cells, faster access to body cell due to the dehydration effect, and a quick necrotic time due to the toxins produced by such pathogenic organisms.

alcohol ethanol albino mice Escherichia coli strain 0157:H7 spleen liver kidney stomach

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