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Trends Plant Sci. 2012 May;17(5):245-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2012.03.007. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Plants as alternative hosts for Salmonella.

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Institute for Plant Pathology and Applied Zoology, Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition, JL University Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


Recent findings show that many human pathogenic bacteria can use multiple host organisms. For example, Salmonella Typhimurium can use plants as alternative hosts to humans and other animals. These bacteria are able to adhere to plant surfaces and actively infect the interior of plants. Similarly to the infection of animal cells, S. Typhimurium suppresses plant defense responses by a type III secretion mechanism, indicating that these bacteria possess a dedicated multi-kingdom infection strategy, raising the question of host specificity. In addition, evidence is accumulating that the interaction of Salmonella with plants is an active process with different levels of specificity, because different Salmonella serovars show variations in pathogenicity, and different plant species reveal various levels of resistance towards these bacteria.

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