The Salmonella virulence plasmid enhances Salmonella-induced lysis of macrophages and influences inflammatory responses
Infection and Immunity
The Salmonella dublin virulence plasmid mediates systemic infection in mice and cattle. Here, we analyze the interaction between wild-type and plasmid-cured Salmonella strains with phagocytes in vitro and in vivo. The intracellular recovery of S. dublin from murine peritoneal and bovine alveolar macrophages cultured in the presence of gentamicin in vitro was not related to virulence plasmid carriage. However, the virulence plasmid increased the lytic activity of S. dublin, Salmonella
... , and Salmonella choleraesuis for resident or activated mouse peritoneal macrophages. Lysis was not mediated by spv genes and was abolished by cytochalasin D treatment. Peritoneal and splenic macrophages were isolated from mice 4 days after intraperitoneal infection with wild-type or plasmid-cured S. dublin strains. The wild-type strain was recovered in significantly higher numbers than the plasmid-cured strain. However, the intracellular killing rates of such cells cultured in vitro for both S. dublin strains were not significantly different. Four days after infection, there was a lower increase of phagocyte numbers in the peritoneal cavities and spleens of mice infected with the wild-type strain compared with the plasmid-cured strain. The virulence plasmid influenced the survival of macrophages in vitro following infection in vivo as assessed by microscopy. Cells from mice infected with the plasmid-cured strain survived better than those from mice infected with the wild-type strain. This is the first report demonstrating an effect of the virulence plasmid on the interaction of Salmonella strains with macrophages. Plasmid-mediated macrophage dysfunction could influence the recruitment and/or the activation of phagocytic cells and consequently the net growth of Salmonella strains during infection.