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Virulence. 2014 Feb 15;5(2):311-20. doi: 10.4161/viru.27605. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

TTSS2-deficient hha mutant of Salmonella Typhimurium exhibits significant systemic attenuation in immunocompromised hosts.

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  • 1School of Biotechnology; KIIT University; Bhubaneswar, India.


Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) infections are emerging as leading problem worldwide and the variations in host immune status append to the concern of NTS. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is one of the causative agents of NTS infections and has been extensively studied. The inactivation of Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI2) encoded type-III secretion system 2 (TTSS2) has been reported rendering the strain incapable for systemic dissemination to host sites and has also been proposed as live-attenuated vaccine. However, infections from TTSS2-deficient Salmonella have also been reported. In this study, mutant strain MT15 was developed by inactivation of the hemolysin expression modulating protein (hha) in TTSS2-deficient S. Typhimurium background. The MT15 strain showed significant level of attenuation in immune-deprived murine colitis model when tested in iNos(-/-), IL10(-/-), and CD40L(-/-) mice groups in C57BL/6 background. Further, the mutation in hha does not implicate any defect in bacterial colonization to the host gut. The long-term infection of developed mutant strain conferred protective immune responses to suitably immunized streptomycin pre-treated C57BL/6 mice. The immunization enhanced the CD4(+) and CD8(+) cell types involved in bacterial clearance. The serum IgG and luminal secretory IgA (sIgA) was also found to be elevated after the due course of infection. Additionally, the immunized C57BL/6 mice were protected from the subsequent lethal infection of Salmonella Typhimurium. Collectively, these findings implicate the involvement of hemolysin expression modulating protein (Hha) in establishment of bacterial infection. In light of the observed attenuation of the developed mutant strain, this study proposes the possible significance of SPI2-deficient hha mutant as an alternative live-attenuated vaccine strain for use against lethal Salmonella infections.


C57BL/6; SalmonellaTyphimurium; hha; immunocompromised host; inflammation

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