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Infect Immun. 2009 Jun;77(6):2568-75. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01537-08. Epub 2009 Apr 13.

O-antigen-negative Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is attenuated in intestinal colonization but elicits colitis in streptomycin-treated mice.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major constituent of the outer membrane and an important virulence factor of Salmonella enterica subspecies 1 serovar Typhimurium (serovar Typhimurium). To evaluate the role of LPS in eliciting intestinal inflammation in streptomycin-treated mice, we constructed an O-antigen-deficient serovar Typhimurium strain through deletion of the wbaP gene. The resulting strain was highly susceptible to human complement activity and the antimicrobial peptide mimic polymyxin B. Furthermore, it showed a severe defect in motility and an attenuated phenotype in a competitive mouse infection experiment, where the DeltawbaP strain (SKI12) was directly compared to wild-type Salmonella. Nevertheless, the DeltawbaP strain (SKI12) efficiently invaded HeLa cells in vitro and elicited acute intestinal inflammation in streptomycin-pretreated mice. Our experiments prove that the presence of complete LPS is not essential for in vitro invasion or for triggering acute colitis.

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