Functional analysis of Salmonella Typhi adaptation to survival in water

Robert A. Kingsley, Gemma Langridge, Sarah E. Smith, Carine Makendi, Maria Fookes, Tom M. Wileman, Moataz Abd El Ghany, A. Keith Turner, Zoe A. Dyson, Sushmita Sridhar, Derek Pickard, Sally Kay, Nicholas Feasey, Vanessa Wong, Lars Barquist, Gordon Dougan

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Contaminated water is a major risk factor associated with the transmission of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), the aetiological agent of human typhoid. However, little is known about how this pathogen adapts to living in the aqueous environment. We used transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq) and transposon mutagenesis (TraDIS) to characterize these adaptive changes and identify multiple genes that contribute to survival. Over half of the genes in the S. Typhi genome altered expression level within the first 24 h following transfer from broth culture to water, although relatively few did so in the first 30 min. Genes linked to central metabolism, stress associated with arrested proton motive force and respiratory chain factors changed expression levels. Additionally, motility and chemotaxis genes increased expression, consistent with a scavenging lifestyle. The viaB-associated gene tviC encoding a glcNAc epimerase that is required for Vi polysaccharide biosynthesis was, along with several other genes, shown to contribute to survival in water. Thus, we define regulatory adaptation operating in S. Typhi that facilitates survival in water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4079-4090
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number11
Early online date18 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

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