Macrophage killing is an essential virulence mechanism of Salmonella typhimurium

Susanne W. Lindgren, Igor Stojiljkovic, Fred Heffron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 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
Externally publishedYes


  • cytotoxicity
  • envZ
  • ompR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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