Contribution of the type VI secretion system encoded in SPI-19 to chicken colonization by Salmonella enterica serotypes Gallinarum and Enteritidis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Salmonella Gallinarum is a pathogen with a host range specific to poultry, while Salmonella Enteritidis is a broad host range pathogen that colonizes poultry sub-clinically but is a leading cause of gastrointestinal salmonellosis in humans and many other species. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the complex interplay between Salmonella and their hosts, the molecular basis of host range restriction and unique pathobiology of Gallinarum remain largely unknown. Type VI Secretion System (T6SS) represents a new paradigm of protein secretion that is critical for the pathogenesis of many gram-negative bacteria. We recently identified a putative T6SS in the Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 19 (SPI-19) of Gallinarum. In Enteritidis, SPI-19 is a degenerate element that has lost most of the T6SS functions encoded in the island. In this work, we studied the contribution of SPI-19 to the colonization of Salmonella Gallinarum strain 287/91 in chickens. Non-polar deletion mutants of SPI-19 and the clpV gene, an essential T6SS component, colonized the ileum, ceca, liver and spleen of White Leghorn chicks poorly compared to the wild-type strain after oral inoculation. Return of SPI-19 to the DeltaSPI-19 mutant, using VEX-Capture, complemented this colonization defect. In contrast, transfer of SPI-19 from Gallinarum to Enteritidis resulted in transient increase in the colonization of the ileum, liver and spleen at day 1 post-infection, but at days 3 and 5 post-infection a strong colonization defect of the gut and internal organs of the experimentally infected chickens was observed. Our data indicate that SPI-19 and the T6SS encoded in this region contribute to the colonization of the gastrointestinal tract and internal organs of chickens by Salmonella Gallinarum and suggest that degradation of SPI-19 T6SS in Salmonella Enteritidis conferred an advantage in colonization of the avian host.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

author list (cited authors)

  • Blondel, C. J., Yang, H., Castro, B., Chiang, S., Toro, C. S., Zaldvar, M., ... Santiviago, C. A.

citation count

  • 54

complete list of authors

  • Blondel, Carlos J||Yang, Hee-Jeong||Castro, Benjamín||Chiang, Sebastián||Toro, Cecilia S||Zaldívar, Mercedes||Contreras, Inés||Andrews-Polymenis, Helene L||Santiviago, Carlos A

editor list (cited editors)

  • Otto, M.

publication date

  • July 2010