Host restriction of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium pigeon isolates does not correlate with loss of discrete genes.
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The definitive phage types (DT) 2 and 99 of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium are epidemiologically correlated with a host range restricted to pigeons, in contrast to phage types with broader host ranges such as epidemic cattle isolates (DT104 and DT204). To determine whether phage types with broad host range possess genetic islands absent from host-restricted phage types, we compared the genomes of four pigeon isolates to serotype Typhimurium strain LT2 using a DNA microarray. Three of the four isolates tested caused fluid accumulation in bovine ligated ileal loops, but they had reduced colonization of liver and spleen in susceptible BALB/c mice and were defective for intestinal persistence in Salmonella-resistant CBA mice. The genomes of the DT99 and DT2 isolates were extremely similar to the LT2 genome, with few notable differences on the level of complete individual genes. Two large groups of genes representing the Fels-1 and Fels-2 prophages were missing from the DT2 and DT99 phage types we analyzed. One of the DT99 isolates examined was lacking a third cluster of five chromosomal genes (STM1555 to -1559). Results of the microarray analysis were extended using Southern analysis to a collection of 75 serotype Typhimurium clinical isolates of 24 different phage types. This analysis revealed no correlation between the presence of Fels-1, Fels-2, or STM1555 to -1559 and the association of phage types with different host reservoirs. We conclude that serotype Typhimurium phage types with broad host range do not possess genetic islands influencing host restriction, which are absent from the host-restricted pigeon isolates.