Contaminated water delivery as a simple and effective method of experimental Salmonella infection

Hope O. Donnell, Oanh H. Pham, Joseph M. Benoun, Marietta M. Ravesloot-Chávez, Stephen J Mcsorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Aim: In most infectious disease models, it is assumed that gavage needle infection is the most reliable means of pathogen delivery to the GI tract. However, this methodology can cause esophageal tearing and induces stress in experimental animals, both of which have the potential to impact early infection and the subsequent immune response. Materials & methods: C57BL/6 mice were orally infected with virulent Salmonella Typhimurium SL1344 either by intragastric gavage preceded by sodium bicarbonate, or by contamination of drinking water. Results: We demonstrate that water contamination delivery of Salmonella is equivalent to gavage inoculation in providing a consistent model of infection. Furthermore, exposure of mice to contaminated drinking water for as little as 4 h allowed maximal mucosal and systemic infection, suggesting an abbreviated window exists for natural intestinal entry. Conclusion: Together, these data question the need for gavage delivery for infection with oral pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1627
Number of pages13
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • alternative infection technique
  • experimental stress
  • gavage
  • intragastric
  • natural route
  • oral infection
  • Salmonella
  • water contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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