Salmonella spvlocus suppresses host innate immune responses to bacterial infection

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Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium (S. typhimurium) is globally distributed and causes massive morbidity and mortality in humans and animals. S. typhimurium carries Salmonella plasmid virulence (spv) locus, which is highly conserved and closely related to bacterial pathogenicity, while its exact role in host immune responses during infection remains to be elucidated. To counteract the invaders, the host has evolved numerous strategies, among which the innate immunity and autophagy act as the first defense. Recently, zebrafish has been universally accepted as a valuable and powerful vertebrate model in analyzing bacteria-host interactions. To investigate whether spv locus enhances the virulence of Salmonella by exerting an effect on the host early defense, zebrafish larvae were employed in this study. LD50 of S. typhimurium to zebrafish larvae and bacterial dissemination were analyzed. Sudan black B and neutral red staining were performed to detect the responses of neutrophils and macrophages to Salmonella infection. Autophagy agonist Torin1 and inhibitor Chloroquine were used to interfere in autophagic flux, and the protein level of Lc3 and p62 were measured by western blotting. Results indicated that spv locus could decrease the LD50 of S. typhimurium to zebrafish larvae, accelerate the reproduction and dissemination of bacteria by inhibiting the function of neutrophils and macrophages. Moreover, spv locus restrained the formation of autophagosomes in the earlier stage of autophagy. These findings suggested the virulence of spv locus involving in suppressing host innate immune responses for the first time, which shed new light on the role of spv operon in Salmonella pathogenicity.

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