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Infect Immun. 1990 Jul;58(7):2262-75.

Evolutionary genetic relationships of clones of Salmonella serovars that cause human typhoid and other enteric fevers.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, Mueller Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.


Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was employed to measure chromosomal genotypic diversity and evolutionary relationships among 761 isolates of the serovars Salmonella typhi, S. paratyphi A, S. paratyphi B, S. paratyphi C, and S. sendai, which are human-adapted agents of enteric fever, and S. miami and S. java, which are serotypically similar to S. sendai and S. paratyphi B, respectively, but cause gastroenteritis in both humans and animals. To determine the phylogenetic positions of the clones of these forms within the context of the salmonellae of subspecies I, comparative data for 22 other common serovars were utilized. Except for S. paratyphi A and S. sendai, the analysis revealed no close phylogenetic relationships among clones of different human-adapted serovars, which implies convergence in host adaptation and virulence factors. Clones of S. miami are not allied with those of S. sendai or S. paratyphi A, being, instead, closely related to strains of S. panama. Clones of S. paratyphi B and S. java belong to a large phylogenetic complex that includes clones of S. typhimurium, S. heidelberg, S. saintpaul, and S. muenchen. Most strains of S. paratyphi B belong to a globally distributed clone that is highly polymorphic in biotype, bacteriophage type, and several other characters, whereas strains of S. java represent seven diverse lineages. The flagellar monophasic forms of S. java are genotypically more similar to clones of S. typhimurium than to other clones of S. java or S. paratyphi B. Clones of S. paratyphi C are related to those of S. choleraesuis. DNA probing with a segment of the viaB region specific for the Vi capsular antigen genes indicated that the frequent failure of isolates of S. paratyphi C to express Vi antigen is almost entirely attributable to regulatory processes rather than to an absence of the structural determinant genes themselves. Two clones of S. typhisuis are related to those of S. choleraesuis and S. paratyphi C, but a third clone is not. Although the clones of S. decatur and S. choleraesuis are serologically and biochemically similar, they are genotypically very distinct. Two clones of S. typhi were distinguished, one globally distributed and another apparently confined to Africa; both clones are distantly related to those of all other serovars studied.

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