Genetic Determinants in Salmonella enterica Serotype Typhimurium Required for Overcoming In Vitro Stressors in the Mimicking Host Environment.Microbiol Spectr. 2021 12 22; 9(3):e0015521.MS
Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium, a nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS), results in a range of enteric diseases, representing a major disease burden worldwide. There is still a significant portion of Salmonella genes whose mechanistic basis to overcome host innate defense mechanisms largely remains unknown. Here, we have applied transposon insertion sequencing (Tn-seq) method to unveil the genetic factors required for the growth or survival of S. Typhimurium under various host stressors simulated in vitro. A highly saturating Tn5 library of S. Typhimurium 14028s was subjected to selection during growth in the presence of short-chain fatty acid (100 mM propionate), osmotic stress (3% NaCl), or oxidative stress (1 mM H2O2) or survival in extreme acidic pH (30 min in pH 3) or starvation (12 days in 1× phosphate-buffered saline [PBS]). We have identified a total of 339 conditionally essential genes (CEGs) required to overcome at least one of these conditions mimicking host insults. Interestingly, all eight genes encoding FoF1-ATP synthase subunit proteins were required for fitness in all five stresses. Intriguingly, a total of 88 genes in Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPI), including SPI-1, SPI-2, SPI-3, SPI-5, SPI-6, and SPI-11, are also required for fitness under the in vitro conditions. Additionally, by comparative analysis of the genes identified in this study and the genes previously shown to be required for in vivo fitness, we identified novel genes (marBCT, envF, barA, hscA, rfaQ, rfbI, and the genes encoding putative proteins STM14_1138, STM14_3334, STM14_4825, and STM_5184) that have compelling potential for the development of vaccines and antibacterial drugs to curb Salmonella infection. IMPORTANCE Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium is a major human bacterial pathogen that enters the food chain through meat animals asymptomatically carrying this pathogen. Despite the rich genome sequence data, a significant portion of Salmonella genes remain to be characterized for their potential contributions to virulence. In this study, we used transposon insertion sequencing (Tn-seq) to elucidate the genetic factors required for growth or survival under various host stressors, including short-chain fatty acids, osmotic stress, oxidative stress, extreme acid, and starvation. Among the total of 339 conditionally essential genes (CEGs) that are required under at least one of these five stress conditions were 221 previously known virulence genes required for in vivo fitness during infection in at least one of four animal species, including mice, chickens, pigs, and cattle. This comprehensive map of virulence phenotype-genotype in S. Typhimurium provides a roadmap for further interrogation of the biological functions encoded by the genome of this important human pathogen to survive in hostile host environments.