Rizwana Tasmin, Nur A. Hasan, Christopher J. Grim, Ar’Quette Grant, Seon Young Choi, M. Samiul Alam, Rebecca Bell, Christopher Cavanaugh, Kannan V. Balan, Uma S. Babu, Salina Parveen
Salmonella Typhimurium is the leading cause of human non-typhoidal gastroenteritis in the US. S. Kentucky is one the most commonly recovered serovars from commercially processed poultry carcasses. This study compared the genotypic and phenotypic properties of two Salmonella enterica strains Typhimurium (ST221_31B) and Kentucky (SK222_32B) recovered from commercially processed chicken carcasses using whole genome sequencing, phenotype characterizations and an intracellular killing assay. Illumina MiSeq platform was used for sequencing of two Salmonella genomes. Phylogenetic analysis employing homologous alignment of a 1,185 non-duplicated protein-coding gene in the Salmonella core genome demonstrated fully resolved bifurcating patterns with varying levels of diversity that separated ST221_31B and SK222_32B genomes into distinct monophyletic serovar clades. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis identified 2,432 (ST19) SNPs within 13 Typhimurium genomes including ST221_31B representing Sequence Type ST19 and 650 (ST152) SNPs were detected within 13 Kentucky genomes including SK222_32B representing Sequence Type ST152. In addition to serovar-specific conserved coding sequences, the genomes of ST221_31B and SK222_32B harbor several genomic regions with significant genetic differences. These included phage and phage-like elements, carbon utilization or transport operons, fimbriae operons, putative membrane associated protein-encoding genes, antibiotic resistance genes, siderophore operons, and numerous hypothetical protein-encoding genes. Phenotype microarray results demonstrated that ST221_31B is capable of utilizing certain carbon compounds more efficiently as compared to SK222_3B; namely, 1,2-propanediol, M-inositol, L-threonine, α-D-lactose, D-tagatose, adonitol, formic acid, acetoacetic acid, and L-tartaric acid. ST221_31B survived for 48 h in macrophages, while SK222_32B was mostly eliminated. Further, a 3-fold growth of ST221_31B was observed at 24 hours post-infection in chicken granulosa cells while SK222_32B was unable to replicate in these cells. These results suggest that Salmonella Typhimurium can survive host defenses better and could be more invasive than Salmonella Kentucky and provide some insights into the genomic determinants responsible for these differences.
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