Salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Typhimurium is one of the most important bacterial zoonotic diseases. The bacterium persists in pigs resulting in asymptomatic 'carrier pigs', generating a major source for Salmonella contamination of pork. Until now, very little is known concerning the mechanisms used by Salmonella Typhimurium during persistence in pigs. Using in vivo expression technology (IVET), a promoter-trap method based on ΔpurA attenuation of the parent strain, we identified 37 Salmonella Typhimurium genes that were expressed 3 weeks post oral inoculation in the tonsils, ileum and ileocaecal lymph nodes of pigs. Several genes were expressed in all three analyzed organs, while other genes were only expressed in one or two organs. Subsequently, the identified IVET transformants were pooled and reintroduced in pigs to detect tissue-specific gene expression patterns. We found that efp and rpoZ were specifically expressed in the ileocaecal lymph nodes during Salmonella peristence in pigs. Furthermore, we compared the persistence ability of substitution mutants for the IVET-identified genes sifB and STM4067 to that of the wild type in a mixed infection model. The ΔSTM4067::kanR was significantly attenuated in the ileum contents, caecum and caecum contents and faeces of pigs 3 weeks post inoculation, while deletion of the SPI-2 effector gene sifB did not affect Salmonella Typhimurium persistence. Although our list of identified genes is not exhaustive, we found that efp and rpoZ were specifically expressed in the ileocaecal lymph nodes of pigs and we identified STM4067 as a factor involved in Salmonella persistence in pigs. To our knowledge, our study is the first to identify Salmonella Typhimurium genes expressed during persistence in pigs. © 2011 Van Parys et al.
van Parys, A., Boyen, F., Leyman, B., Verbrugghe, E., Haesebrouck, F., & Pasmans, F. (2011). Tissue-specific Salmonella Typhimurium gene expression during persistence in pigs. PLoS ONE, 6(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0024120