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Microb Pathog. 1999 Sep;27(3):155-71.

Role of Salmonella enterotoxin in overall virulence of the organism.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, 77555-1070, USA.


In this study, the Salmonella enterotoxin gene (stn) was mutated by marker exchange mutagenesis, and the overall virulence of the organism was evaluated. Salmonella marker exchange mutants evoked significantly less fluid secretion in mouse intestinal loops compared to that seen with wild-type S. typhimurium. Salmonella mutants were as invasive as wild-type bacteria for HeLa cells; however, their capacity to cause destruction of the intestinal mucosa was impaired, when compared with wild-type bacteria by electron microscopy. Upon oral challenge of mice, the LD(50)of the Salmonella mutants was greater than that for the wild-type bacteria. The fluid secretory potential, as well as a reduction in the LD(50)of these mutants was restored when the mutated stn gene was replaced by the native stn gene sequence. These mutations had no effect on the aerobic growth of these bacteria in minimal or complete medium; anaerobic growth was also not affected. With these studies, we demonstrated that the presence of an intact stn gene contributed significantly to the overall virulence of S. typhimurium in a murine model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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