Role of two-component sensory systems of Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin in the pathogenesis of systemic salmonellosis in cattle

Gillian D. Pullinger, Pauline M. van Diemen, Francis Dziva, Mark P. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin (S. Dublin) is associated with enteritis, typhoid and abortion in cattle. Infections are acquired by the oral route, and the bacteria transit through varied anatomical and cellular niches to elicit systemic disease. S. Dublin must therefore sense and respond to diverse extrinsic stimuli to control gene expression in a spatial and temporal manner. Two-component systems (TCSs) play key roles in such processes, and typically contain a membrane-associated sensor kinase (SK) that modifies a cognate response regulator. Analysis of the genome sequence of S. Dublin identified 31 conserved SK genes. Each SK gene was separately disrupted by lambda Red recombinase-mediated insertion of transposons harbouring unique sequence tags. Calves were challenged with a pool of the mutants together with control strains of defined virulence by the oral and intravenous routes. Quantification of tagged mutants in output pools derived from various tissues and cannulated lymphatic vessels allowed the assignment of spatial roles for each SK following oral inoculation or when the intestinal barrier was bypassed by intravenous delivery. Mutant phenotypes were also assigned in cultured intestinal epithelial cells. Mutants with insertions in barA, envZ, phoQ, ssrA or qseC were significantly negatively selected at all enteric and systemic sites sampled after oral dosing. Mutants lacking baeS, dpiB or citA were negatively selected at some but not all sites. After intravenous inoculation, only barA and phoQ mutants were significantly under-represented at systemic sites. The novel role of baeS in intestinal colonization was confirmed by oral co-infection studies, with a mutant exhibiting modest but significant attenuation at a number of enteric sites. This is the first systematic analysis of the role of all Salmonella TCSs in a highly relevant model of enteric fever. Spatial roles were assigned to eight S. Dublin SKs, but most were not essential for intestinal or systemic infection of the target host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3108-3122
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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