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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2013 Jan;10(1):28-34. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2012.1216.

Development of ceftriaxone resistance affects the virulence properties of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium strains.

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, National Reference Laboratory of Veterinary Drug Residues (SCAU), South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.


Development of antibiotic resistance may alter the virulence properties of bacterial organisms. In this study, nine clinical ceftriaxone-susceptible Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium strains were subjected to stepwise selection with increasing concentrations of ceftriaxone in culture media. Mutations in virulence-associated genes and antibiotic efflux genes were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing. The expression levels of virulence genes invA and stn as well as efflux pump genes tolC, arcA, and arcB before and after the selection were measured by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The stepwise selection resulted in the development of Salmonella strains that were highly resistant to ceftriaxone. Sequence analysis did not reveal any mutations or deletions in the examined virulence genes and regulatory gene, but a silent mutation (T423C) in acrR (encoding a repressor for the efflux pump) was detected in most of the ceftriaxone-resistant strains. The qRT-PCR revealed increased expression of the AcrAB-TolC efflux pump and decreased expression of invA and stn in the ceftriaxone-resistant strains. Moreover, decreased invasion into cultured epithelial cells and reduced growth rates were observed with the resistant strains. These results suggest that acquisition of ceftriaxone resistance is associated with the overexpression of the AcrAB-TolC efflux pump and leads to reduced virulence in Salmonella Typhimurium.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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