Role in virulence and protective efficacy in pigs of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium secreted components identified by signature-tagged mutagenesis

Sonya C. Carnell, Alison Bowen, Eirwen Morgan, Duncan J. Maskell, Timothy S. Wallis, Mark P. Stevens

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Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is a zoonotic enteric pathogen of worldwide importance and pigs are a significant reservoir of human infection. Signature-tagged transposon mutagenesis (STM) was used to identify genes required by S. Typhimurium to colonize porcine intestines. A library of 1045 signature-tagged mutants of S. Typhimurium ST4/74 Nal(R) was screened following oral inoculation of pigs in duplicate. A total of 119 attenuating mutations were identified in 95 different genes, many of which encode known or putative secreted or surface-anchored molecules. A large number of attenuating mutations were located within Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPI)-1 and -2, confirming important roles for type III secretion systems (T3SS)-1 and -2 in intestinal colonization of pigs. Roles for genes encoded in other pathogenicity islands and islets, including the SPI-6-encoded Saf atypical fimbriae, were also identified. Given the role of secreted factors and the protection conferred against other pathogens by vaccination with extracellular and type III secreted proteins, the efficacy of a secreted protein vaccine from wild-type S. Typhimurium following intramuscular vaccination of pigs was evaluated. Serum IgG responses against type III secreted proteins were induced following vaccination and a significant reduction in faecal excretion of S. Typhimurium was observed in the acute phase of infection compared to mock-vaccinated animals. Vaccination with secreted proteins from an isogenic S. Typhimurium prgH mutant produced comparable levels of protection to vaccination with the preparation from the parent strain, indicating that protection was not reliant on T3SS-1 secreted proteins. The data provide valuable information for the control of Salmonella in pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1940-1952
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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