1 Veterinary Clinical Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 World Organization for Animal Health3 Veterinary Clinical Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Salmonella 4,,12:i:- is a variant of Salmonella Typhimurium, which lacks the expression of phase-2 flagellar antigen, generally associated with the deletion of the fljB gene. Additional mechanisms involving the fljAB operon ( fljA, fljB, and hin genes) lead to the lack of expression of phase-2 flagellar antigens also in Salmonella strains harboring the fljB gene. For 20 S. 4,,12:i:- strains, defined as "inconsistent" Salmonella Typhimurium variants since they had phenotypically behaved as monophasic, even though the fljB gene was conserved, the fljAB operon was characterized in order to explain the ineffective expression of the phase-2 flagellar antigen. The monophasic phenotype for a first group of strains (9) was likely due to the absence of the hin gene, leading to the inhibited switch between the expression of phase-1 and phase-2 flagellar genes. For a second group of strains (5), the monophasic phenotype could be attributed to nonconservative point mutations identified in fljA and hin genes, which could hamper the proper expression of invertase gene and the fljA, acting as repressor of the phase-1 flagellar gene. Finally, for a last group of inconsistent strains (6), a plausible reason for their monophasic phenotype was not found, since the genes involved in the expression of phase-2 flagellar antigen were fully conserved. Moreover, the collection of inconsistent Salmonella Typhimurium isolates investigated were characterized by distinct molecular profiles, as demonstrated by multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis, and phenotype variability, as demonstrated by phage-typing. This study highlights the usefulness of investigating the entire fljAB operon when a definitive identification of the monophasic or biphasic status of Salmonella Typhimurium strains is needed (for instance, in the context of epidemiological investigations aimed to identify the relatedness among strains).
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 2014, Vol 11, Issue 6, p. 497-499