The Virulence of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium in the Insect Model Galleria mellonella Is Impaired by Mutations in RNase E and RNase III

Cecilia Maria Arraiano, Sandra Cristina Viegas

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Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a Gram-negative bacterium able to invade and replicate inside eukaryotic cells. To cope with the host defense mechanisms, the bacterium has to rapidly remodel its transcriptional status. Regulatory RNAs and ribonucleases are the factors that ultimately control the fate of mRNAs and final protein levels in the cell. There is growing evidence of the direct involvement of these factors in bacterial pathogenicity. In this report, we validate the use of a Galleria mellonela model in S. Typhimurium pathogenicity studies through the parallel analysis of a mutant with a mutation in hfq, a well-established Salmonella virulence gene. The results obtained with this mutant are similar to the ones reported in a mouse model. Through the use of this insect model, we demonstrate a role for the main endoribonucleases RNase E and RNase III in Salmonella virulence. These ribonuclease mutants show an attenuated virulence phenotype, impairment in motility, and reduced proliferation inside the host. Interestingly, the two mutants trigger a distinct immune response in the host, and the two mutations seem to have an impact on distinct bacterial functions.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)6124-6133
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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