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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Apr;78(8):2867-73. doi: 10.1128/AEM.07456-11. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Investigations of Salmonella enterica serovar newport infections of oysters by using immunohistochemistry and knockout mutagenesis.

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Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.


The consumption of raw oysters is an important risk factor in the acquisition of food-borne disease, with Salmonella being one of a number of pathogens that have been found in market oysters. Previous work by our lab found that Salmonella was capable of surviving in oysters for over 2 months under laboratory conditions, and this study sought to further investigate Salmonella's tissue affinity and mechanism of persistence within the oysters. Immunohistochemistry was used to show that Salmonella was capable of breaching the epithelial barriers, infecting the deeper connective tissues of the oysters, and evading destruction by the oysters' phagocytic hemocytes. To further investigate the mechanism of these infections, genes vital to the function of Salmonella's two main type III secretion systems were disrupted and the survivability of these knockout mutants within oysters was assayed. When the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 and 2 mutant strains were exposed to oysters, there were no detectable deficiencies in their abilities to survive, suggesting that Salmonella's long-term infection of oysters does not rely upon these two important pathogenicity islands and must be due to some other, currently unknown, mechanism.

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