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June 28, 1965

Microbic Phagocytosis by Enteric Epithelial Cells

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1965;192(13):1130-1132. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080260018005

During electron microscopic studies on the enteric entry of inorganic insoluble microcrystals in rats1, serendipitous observations were made in sections of ileum. Many microorganisms were present even after the luminal contents had been flushed out at necropsy. Microorganisms seen free in the lumen may have stuck to the brush border of the lining and dislodged in the preparation of sections for study, but more than 20 others were touching, attached to, penetrating, or engulfed in epithelial cells.

The rod-like forms resembled a streptobacillus described by Hampton,2 but they probably are fungi. Some of them appeared to be in segmental stages of development, while others were swollen, blurred, and dead. Each segment of a 7μ sharply focused rod had a rounded body, and similar 0.5μ to 1μ sized partitioned bodies nearby (Fig 1) may represent stages in its life cycle. A disintegrated broken rod consisting of seven segments suggested