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Environ Microbiol. 2001 May;3(5):332-42.

Lipopolysaccharide O-chain microheterogeneity of Salmonella serotypes Enteritidis and Typhimurium.

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US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


Variability in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the two most prevalent Salmonella serotypes causing food-borne salmonellosis was assessed using gas chromatography analysis of neutral sugars from 43 Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) and 20 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) isolates. Four substantially different types of O-chain chemotypes were detected using cluster analysis of sugar compositions; these were low-molecular-mass (LMM) LPS, glucosylated LMM LPS, high-molecular-mass (HMM) LPS and glucosylated HMM LPS. Nineteen out of 20 S. Typhimurium isolates yielded glucosylated LMM. In contrast, S. Enteritidis produced a more diverse structure, which varied according to the source and history of the isolate: 45.5% of egg isolates yielded glucosylated HMM LPS; 100% of stored strains lacked glucosylation but retained chain length in some cases; and 83.3% of fresh isolates from the naturally infected house mouse Mus musculus produced glucosylated LMM LPS. A chain length determinant (wzz) mutant of S. Enteritidis produced a structure similar to that of S. Typhimurium and was used to define what constituted significant differences in structure using cluster analysis. Fine mapping of the S. Enteritidis chromosome by means of a two-restriction enzyme-ribotyping technique suggested that mouse isolates producing glucosylated LMM LPS were closely related to orally invasive strains obtained from eggs, and that stored strains were accumulating genetic changes that correlated with suppression of LPS O-chain glucosylation. These results suggest that the determination of LPS chemotype is a useful tool for epidemiological monitoring of S. Enteritidis, which displays an unusual degree of diversity in its LPS O-chain.

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