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Influence of 5 major Salmonella pathogenicity islands on NK cell depletion in mice infected with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis

Author(s): Karasova Daniela | Sebkova Alena | Havlickova Hana | Sisak Frantisek | Volf Jiri | Faldyna Martin | Ondrackova Petra | Kummer Vladimir | Rychlik Ivan

Journal: BMC Microbiology
ISSN 1471-2180

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background In this study we were interested in the colonisation and early immune response of Balb/C mice to infection with Salmonella Enteritidis and isogenic pathogenicity island free mutants. Results The virulence of S. Enteritidis for Balb/C mice was exclusively dependent on intact SPI-2. Infections with any of the mutants harbouring SPI-2 (including the mutant in which we left only SPI-2 but removed SPI-1, SPI-3, SPI-4 and SPI-5) resulted in fatalities, liver injures and NK cell depletion from the spleen. The infection was of minimal influence on counts of splenic CD4 CD8 T lymphocytes and γδ T-lymphocytes although a reduced ability of splenic lymphocytes to respond to non-specific mitogens indicated general immunosuppression in mice infected with SPI-2 positive S. Enteritidis mutants. Further investigations showed that NK cells were depleted also in blood but not in the caecal lamina propria. However, NK cell depletion was not directly associated with the presence of SPI-2 and was rather an indicator of virulence or avirulence of a particular mutant because the depletion was not observed in mice infected with other attenuated mutants such as lon and rfaL. Conclusions The virulence of S. Enteritidis for Balb/C mice is exclusively dependent on the presence of SPI-2 in its genome, and a major hallmark of the infection in terms of early changes in lymphocyte populations is the depletion of NK cells in spleen and blood. The decrease of NK cells in circulation can be used as a marker of attenuation of S. Enteritidis mutants for Balb/C mice.
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