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Cell Microbiol. 2011 Oct;13(10):1618-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01645.x. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

The two-component sensor kinase KdpD is required for Salmonella typhimurium colonization of Caenorhabditis elegans and survival in macrophages.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The ability of enteric pathogens to perceive and adapt to distinct environments within the metazoan intestinal tract is critical for pathogenesis; however, the preponderance of interactions between microbe- and host-derived factors remain to be fully understood. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a medically important enteric bacterium that colonizes, proliferates and persists in the intestinal lumen of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Several Salmonella virulence factors important in murine and tissue culture models also contribute to worm mortality and intestinal persistence. For example, PhoP and the virulence plasmid pSLT are virulence factors required for resistance to the C. elegans antimicrobial peptide SPP-1. To uncover additional determinants required for Salmonella typhimurium pathogenesis in vivo, we devised a genetic screen to identify bacterial mutants defective in establishing a persistent infection in the intestine of C. elegans. Here we report on identification of 14 loci required for persistence in the C. elegans intestine and characterization of KdpD, a sensor kinase of a two-component system in S. typhimurium pathogenesis. We show that kdpD mutants are profoundly attenuated in intestinal persistence in the nematode and in macrophage survival. These findings may be attributed to the essential role KdpD plays in promoting resistance to osmotic, oxidative and antimicrobial stresses.

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