Identification of A Putative T6SS Immunity Islet in Salmonella Typhi

Luke A F Barretto, Casey C Fowler
Pathogens 2020 July 11, 9 (7)
Typhoid fever is a major global health problem and is the result of systemic infections caused by the human-adapted bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi ( S . Typhi). The pathology underlying S . Typhi infections significantly differ from infections caused by broad host range serovars of the same species, which are a common cause of gastroenteritis. Accordingly, identifying S . Typhi genetic factors that impart functionality absent from broad host range serovars offers insights into its unique biology. Here, we used an in-silico approach to explore the function of an uncharacterized 14-gene S . Typhi genomic islet. Our results indicated that this islet was specific to the S. enterica species, where it was encoded by the Typhi and Paratyphi A serovars, but was generally absent from non-typhoidal serovars. Evidence was gathered using comparative genomics and sequence analysis tools, and indicated that this islet was comprised of Type VI secretion system (T6SS) and contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) genes, the majority of which appeared to encode orphan immunity proteins that protected against the activities of effectors and toxins absent from the S . Typhi genome. We herein propose that this islet represents an immune system that protects S . Typhi against competing bacteria within the human gut.

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