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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Macrophage killing is an essential virulence mechanism of Salmonella typhimurium.

Phagocytic cells are a critical line of defense against infection. The ability of a pathogen to survive and even replicate within phagocytic cells is a potent method of evading the defense mechanisms of the host. A number of pathogens survive within macrophages after phagocytosis and this contributes to their virulence. Salmonella is one of these pathogens. Here we report that 6-14 hr after Salmonella enters the macrophage and replicates, it resides in large vacuoles and causes the destruction of these cells. Furthermore, we identified four independently isolated MudJ-lacZ insertion mutants that no longer cause the formation of these vacuoles or kill the macrophages. All four insertions were located in the ompR/envZ regulon. These findings suggest that killing and escape from macrophages may be as important steps in Salmonella pathogenesis as are survival and replication in these host cells.[1]


  1. Macrophage killing is an essential virulence mechanism of Salmonella typhimurium. Lindgren, S.W., Stojiljkovic, I., Heffron, F. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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