Use of a Salmonella typhimurium hilA fusion strain to assess effects of environmental fresh water sources on virulence gene expression.
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Many fruits and vegetables are irrigated with water from rivers, lakes and even wastewater systems. Irrigation may be a route for the introduction of Salmonella. Our objectives in this study were to determine survivability and virulence expression in a strain of Salmonella typhimurium when exposed to environmental water sources. Virulence expression was measured using a beta-galactosidase assay on a hilA:lacZY fusion strain of S. typhimurium. Water samples for environmental impact studies were taken from a local pond and specific sites along the Rio Grande River, which serves as a source of irrigation water in southern Texas. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) of virulence expression among the water sites. Certain regions along the Rio Grande River yielded greater amounts of beta-galactosidase activity than others. All sites yielded at least a two-fold greater virulence response than S. typhimurium grown in brain heart infusion. Salmonella survivors were enumerated as colony forming units (CFU)/ml as plated on a selective medium for the duration of 1 week and beta-galactosidase assays were performed to determine a possible correlation between culturable cells and virulence gene expression. Bacterial cells remained viable but decreased after 7 days incubation. In conclusion, water sampled at specific locations and at different times water samples exhibited differences in virulence expression in S. typhimurium.
author list (cited authors)
Nutt, J. D., Pillai, S. D., Woodward, C. L., Sternes, K. L., Zabala-Díaz, I. B., Kwon, Y. M., & Ricke, S. C
complete list of authors
Nutt, JD||Pillai, SD||Woodward, CL||Sternes, KL||Zabala-Díaz, IB||Kwon, YM||Ricke, SC