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PLoS One. 2008 Feb 13;3(2):e1603. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001603.

A model of Salmonella colitis with features of diarrhea in SLC11A1 wild-type mice.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare, San Diego, California, United States of America.



Mice do not get diarrhea when orally infected with S. enterica, but pre-treatment with oral aminoglycosides makes them susceptible to Salmonella colitis. However, genetically susceptible ItyS mice (Nramp1(G169D) allele) die from systemic infection before they develop diarrhea, so a new model is needed to study the pathogenesis of diarrhea. We pretreated ItyR mice (Nramp1(G169)) with oral kanamycin prior to infecting them with virulent S. Typhimurium strain 14028s in order to study Salmonella-induced diarrhea. We used both a visual scoring system and the measurement of fecal water content to measure diarrhea. BALB/c.D2(Nramp1) congenic started losing weight 5 days post-infection and they began to die from colitis 10-14 days after infection. A SPI-1 (invA) mutant caused cecal, but not colonic inflammation and did not cause diarrhea. A phoP- mutant did not cause manifestations of diarrhea in either normal or NADPH-deficient (gp91(phox)) mice. However, strain 14028s caused severe colitis and diarrhea in gp91(phox)-deficient mice on an ItyR background. pmr A and F mutants, which are less virulent in orally infected BALB/c mice, were fully virulent in this model of colitis.


S. enterica must be able to invade the colonic epithelium and to persist in the colon in order to cause colitis with manifestations of diarrhea. The NADPH oxidase is not required for diarrhea in Salmonella colitis. Furthermore, a Salmonella phoP mutant can be cleared from the colon by non-oxidative host defenses.

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