Only one of the two type VI secretion systems encoded in the Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin genome is involved in colonization of the avian and murine hosts Academic Article uri icon


  • The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a virulence factor for many Gram-negative bacteria. Salmonella genus harbors five phylogenetically distinct T6SS loci encoded in Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands (SPIs) SPI-6, SPI-19, SPI-20, SPI-21 and SPI-22, which are differentially distributed among serotypes. The T6SSs encoded in SPI-6 and SPI-19 contribute to pathogenesis of serotypes Typhimurium and Gallinarum in mice and chickens, respectively. Salmonella Dublin is a pathogen restricted to cattle where it causes a systemic disease. Also, it can colonize other hosts such as chickens and mice, which can act as reservoirs of this serotype. Salmonella Dublin harbors the genes for both T6SS(SPI-6) and T6SS(SPI-19). This study has determined the contribution of T6SS(SPI-6) and T6SS(SPI-19) to host-colonization by Salmonella Dublin using avian and murine models of infection. Competitive index experiments showed that, a mutant strain lacking both T6SSs (∆T6SS(SPI-6)/∆T6SS(SPI-19)) presents a strong colonization defect in cecum of chickens, similar to the defect observed for the ∆T6SS(SPI-6) mutant, suggesting that this serotype requires a functional T6SS(SPI-6) for efficient colonization of the avian gastrointestinal tract. Colonization of mice was also defective, although to a lesser extent than in chickens. In contrast, the T6SS(SPI-19) was not necessary for colonization of either chickens or mice. Transfer of T6SS(SPI-6), but not T6SS(SPI-19), restored the ability of the double mutant to colonize both animal hosts. Our data indicate that Salmonella Dublin requires only the T6SS(SPI-6) for efficient colonization of mice and chickens, and that the T6SS(SPI-6) and T6SS(SPI-19) are not functionally redundant.

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Pezoa, D., Blondel, C. J., Silva, C. A., Yang, H., Andrews-Polymenis, H., Santiviago, C. A., & Contreras, I.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • January 2014