Send to

Choose Destination
Epidemiol Infect. 1996 Oct;117(2):219-31.

A novel relationship between O-antigen variation, matrix formation, and invasiveness of Salmonella enteritidis.

Author information

USDA/ARS, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


Salmonella enterica Enteritidis in chickens serves as a reservoir for salmonellosis in humans and the structure of its lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been used to assess invasiveness. Culture from chick spleens generated colonies with an unusual wrinkled morphology, and it is designated the lacy phenotype. The characterize the nature of the morphological change, three isogenic variants were compared. Only the lacy phenotype produced a temperature-dependent cell surface matrix composed of several proteins in association with LPS high molecular weight O-antigen. Flagellin and a 35 kDa protein were identified as specific proteinaceous components of matrix. Both proteins cross-reacted with a monoclonal antibody previously determined to specifically detect the g-epitope of the Enteritidis monophasic flagella (H-antigen). These results suggest that O-antigen in association with protein contributes to cross-reactivity between molecules. The lacy phenotype was more organ invasive in 5-day-old chicks than isogenic variants producing low molecular weight O-antigen. However, it was no more efficient at contaminating eggs after oral inoculation of hens than a variant that completely lacked O-antigen, thus the lacy phenotype is classified as an intermediately invasive organism. The distinctive colonial phenotype of SE6-E21lacy was used to investigate environmental factors that decreased O/C ratios and contributed to attenuation. In so doing, it was found that growth in complement at 46 degrees C caused matrix producing cells to hyperflagellate and migrate across agar surfaces. These results suggest that the structure of O-antigen might influence the secretion and/or the function of Enteritidis cell-surface proteins. The data also reveal a greater heterogeneity than has been assumed in the phenotype, and possibly the infectious behaviour, of Enteritidis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center