5 years ago

The plasmid-encoded Ipf and Klf fimbriae display different expression and varying roles in the virulence of <i>Salmonella enterica</i> serovar Infantis in mouse vs. avian hosts

Helit Cohen, Svetlana Mikhlin, Ohad Gal-Mor, Shaul Vitman Zilber, Michael Hensel, Galia Rahav, Laura Elpers, Guntram A. Grassl, Gili Aviv

by Gili Aviv, Laura Elpers, Svetlana Mikhlin, Helit Cohen, Shaul Vitman Zilber, Guntram A. Grassl, Galia Rahav, Michael Hensel, Ohad Gal-Mor

Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis is one of the prevalent Salmonella serovars worldwide. Different emergent clones of S. Infantis were shown to acquire the pESI virulence-resistance megaplasmid affecting its ecology and pathogenicity. Here, we studied two previously uncharacterized pESI-encoded chaperone-usher fimbriae, named Ipf and Klf. While Ipf homologs are rare and were found only in S. enterica subspecies diarizonae and subspecies VII, Klf is related to the known K88-Fae fimbria and klf clusters were identified in seven S. enterica subspecies I serovars, harboring interchanging alleles of the fimbria major subunit, KlfG. Regulation studies showed that the klf genes expression is negatively and positively controlled by the pESI-encoded regulators KlfL and KlfB, respectively, and are activated by the ancestral leucine-responsive regulator (Lrp). ipf genes are negatively regulated by Fur and activated by OmpR. Furthermore, induced expression of both klf and ipf clusters occurs under microaerobic conditions and at 41°C compared to 37°C, in-vitro. Consistent with these results, we demonstrate higher expression of ipf and klf in chicks compared to mice, characterized by physiological temperature of 41.2°C and 37°C, respectively. Interestingly, while Klf was dispensable for S. Infantis colonization in the mouse, Ipf was required for maximal colonization in the murine ileum. In contrast to these phenotypes in mice, both Klf and Ipf contributed to a restrained infection in chicks, where the absence of these fimbriae has led to moderately higher bacterial burden in the avian host. Taken together, these data suggest that physiological differences between host species, such as the body temperature, can confer differences in fimbriome expression, affecting Salmonella colonization and other host-pathogen interplays.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006559

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