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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 1990; 87(11): 4304–4308.

The ability of Salmonella to enter mammalian cells is affected by bacterial growth state.


We have examined the effect of different growth conditions on the ability of Salmonella to interact with Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Two growth conditions that affect the expression of Salmonella adherence and invasiveness have been identified. First, bacteria lose their invasiveness in the stationary phase of growth. Second, bacteria growing in oxygen-limited growth conditions are induced for adherence and invasiveness, whereas those growing aerobically are relatively nonadherent and noninvasive. Salmonella from cultures aerated with gas mixtures containing 0% or 1% oxygen were 6- to 70-fold more adherent and invasive than those from cultures aerated with a gas mixture containing 20% oxygen. The Salmonella typhimurium oxrA gene that is required for the anaerobic induction of many proteins is not involved in the regulation of Salmonella invasiveness. We speculate that oxygen limitation might be an environmental cue that triggers the expression of Salmonella invasiveness within the intestinal lumen and other tissues.

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