Institute for Animal Health, Compton Laboratory, Compton, Newbury RG20 7NN, UK.
Functional mutations were made in the type III secretion systems encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI 1) and Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI 2) of Salmonella enterica serovar Pullorum, the cause of pullorum disease in poultry. Their role in cell invasion in vitro, and in virulence in vivo was determined. The SPI 1 mutant showed decreased invasiveness for chicken cells but was capable of causing disease in orally infected 1-day-old chicks, although it showed some reduction in virulence. The SPI 2 mutant showed no reduction in invasiveness, but was fully attenuated for virulence in 1-day-old chicks, and was not detected following oral infection in 1-week-old chickens. Following intravenous infection, the SPI 2 mutant was also attenuated and cleared more rapidly than the parent strain. This indicates that S. Pullorum requires SPI 2 for virulence and persistence but SPI 1 appears to contribute to, but is not essential for, the virulence of S. Pullorum.
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