The spv genes on the Salmonella dublin virulence plasmid are required for severe enteritis and systemic infection in the natural host. Academic Article uri icon


  • The pathogenic role of the spv (Salmonella plasmid virulence) genes of Salmonella dublin was determined in the natural, bovine host. Since the lack of overt signs of enteritis or enterocolitis due to Salmonella infections in mice has limited the development of a convenient experimental system to study enteric disease, we used calves to study the contribution of the spv genes to S. dublin-induced salmonellosis. Since the SpvR transcriptional regulator is required for expression of the spvABCD operon, we constructed an spvR knockout mutation in a calf-virulent strain of S. dublin. Calves were infected with the wild-type strain, an spvR mutant, and an spvR mutant containing a complementing plasmid. Calves that were infected with the wild type or the complemented spvR mutant rapidly developed severe diarrhea and became moribund. Calves that were infected with the spvR mutant showed little or no clinical signs of systemic salmonellosis and developed only mild diarrhea. The survival and growth of the wild-type strain and the spvR mutant were determined by using blood-derived bovine monocytes. Wild-type S. dublin survived and grew inside cells, while the spvR mutant did not proliferate. These results suggest that the spv genes of S. dublin promote enhanced intracellular proliferation in intestinal tissues and at extraintestinal sites in the natural host.

published proceedings

  • Infect Immun

author list (cited authors)

  • Libby, S. J., Adams, L. G., Ficht, T. A., Allen, C., Whitford, H. A., Buchmeier, N. A., Bossie, S., & Guiney, D. G.

citation count

  • 114

complete list of authors

  • Libby, SJ||Adams, LG||Ficht, TA||Allen, C||Whitford, HA||Buchmeier, NA||Bossie, S||Guiney, DG

publication date

  • May 1997