Macrophage killing is an essential virulence mechanism of Salmonella typhimurium

Susanne W. Lindgren, Igor Stojiljkovic, Fred Heffron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    204 Scopus citations


    Phagocytic cells are a critical line of defense against infection. The ability of a pathogen to survive and even replicate within phagocytic cells is a potent method of evading the defense mechanisms of the host. A number of pathogens survive within macrophages after phagocytosis and this contributes to their virulence. Salmonella is one of these pathogens. Here we report that 6-14 hr after Salmonella enters the macrophage and replicates, it resides in large vacuoles and causes the destruction of these cells. Furthermore, we identified four independently isolated MudJ-lacZ insertion mutants that no longer cause the formation of these vacuoles or kill the macrophages. All four insertions were located in the ompR/envZ regulon. These findings suggest that killing and escape from macrophages may be as important steps in Salmonella pathogenesis as are survival and replication in these host cells.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)4197-4201
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Apr 30 1996


    • cytotoxicity
    • envZ
    • ompR

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


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