Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium causes typhoid-like disease in mice and is a model of typhoid fever in humans. One of the hallmarks of typhoid is persistence, the ability of the bacteria to survive in the host weeks after infection. Virulence factors called effectors facilitate this process by direct transfer to the cytoplasm of infected cells thereby subverting cellular processes. Secretion of effectors to the cell cytoplasm takes place through multiple routes, including two separate type III secretion (T3SS) apparati as well as outer membrane vesicles. The two T3SS are encoded on separate pathogenicity islands, SPI-1 and -2, with SPI-1 more strongly associated with the intestinal phase of infection, and SPI-2 with the systemic phase. Both T3SS are required for persistence, but the effectors required have not been systematically evaluated. In this study, mutations in 48 described effectors were tested for persistence. We replaced each effector with a specific DNA barcode sequence by allelic exchange and co-infected with a wild-type reference to calculate the ratio of wild-type parent to mutant at different times after infection. The competitive index (CI) was determined by quantitative PCR in which primers that correspond to the barcode were used for amplification. Mutations in all but seven effectors reduced persistence demonstrating that most effectors were required. One exception was CigR, a recently discovered effector that is widely conserved throughout enteric bacteria. Deletion of cigR increased lethality, suggesting that it may be an anti-virulence factor. The fact that almost all Salmonella effectors are required for persistence argues against redundant functions. This is different from effector repertoires in other intracellular pathogens such as Legionella.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)