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Infect Immun. 1987 Feb;55(2):388-92.

Contribution of Salmonella gallinarum large plasmid toward virulence in fowl typhoid.


Four strains of Salmonella gallinarum isolated from independent cases of fowl typhoid all possessed both an 85-kilobase and a 2.5-kilobase plasmid. Each plasmid was eliminated in turn from one of the strains by transposon labeling and curing at 42 degrees C. Elimination of the small plasmid had no effect on the high virulence of the strain for newly hatched and 2-week-old chickens. Whereas oral inoculation of 2-week-old chickens with the parent strain produced 90% mortality with characteristic signs of fowl typhoid, inoculation of the large-plasmid-minus strain produced 0% mortality. A corresponding increase in the 50% lethal dose from log10 1.1 to greater than log10 7.3 was seen with the large-plasmid-minus strain after intramuscular inoculation. Reintroduction of the large plasmid completely restored virulence. A role for the plasmid-linked virulence genes in both invasion and growth in the reticuloendothelial system is suggested by the failure of the large-plasmid-minus strain to penetrate to the liver and spleen after oral inoculation and by its increased clearance from the reticuloendothelial system after intravenous inoculation. These results clearly demonstrate that the large plasmid of S. gallinarum contributes toward virulence in fowl typhoid of chickens.

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