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Microbiology. 2005 Dec;151(Pt 12):3969-77.

Glycogen production by different Salmonella enterica serotypes: contribution of functional glgC to virulence, intestinal colonization and environmental survival.

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School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK.


In enteric bacteria, the contribution of endogenous energy sources to survival both inside and outside the host is poorly understood. The contribution of glycogen production to the virulence, colonization and environmental survival of different Salmonella enterica serotypes was assessed. Of 19 serotypes (339 strains) tested for glycogen production, 17 (256 strains) were positive. The avian-specific serovars S. Gallinarum (62 strains) and S. Pullorum (21 strains) did not produce glycogen. The sequence of glgC in three S. Gallinarum strains tested revealed an identical deletion of 11 consecutive bases, which was not present in S. Pullorum, and a CCC insertion after position 597. Transduction of S. Gallinarum and S. Pullorum to a glycogen-positive phenotype did not change the ability to colonize the intestine or affect virulence in the chicken. Mortality rates in chickens following oral infection with a S. Typhimurium glycogen mutant (glgC : : km) were not significantly reduced, although colonization of the intestine was reduced over the first 4 weeks of the trial. Growth and yield of the glgC : : km mutant were comparable to the parent. The glgC mutant survived less well in faeces and in water at 4 degrees C when the strain was grown in LB broth containing 0.5 % glucose, and in saline it died off more rapidly after 7 days. The data suggest that glycogen has a complex but comparatively minor role in virulence and colonization, but a more significant role in survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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