Differential contribution of sodC1 and sodC2 to intracellular survival and pathogenicity of Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis

Microbes Infect. 2005 Apr;7(4):698-707. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2005.01.005. Epub 2005 Mar 18.


Several of the most virulent Salmonella enterica strains possess two genes encoding periplasmic Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase, sodC1 and sodC2, located on a lambdoid prophage and on the chromosome, respectively. These genes contribute to Salmonella virulence by protecting bacteria from superoxide generated by the host's phagocytes. To investigate the respective contributions of sodC1 and sodC2 to the virulence of a clinical isolate of Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis (S. choleraesuis), we have analyzed both the intracellular survival of wild type and sodC mutant strains within J774 macrophages and Caco-2 cells, and their ability to proliferate in intraperitoneally-infected mice in competition assays. In agreement with previous studies, mutant strains lacking one or both sodC genes were equally impaired in their ability to survive within activated macrophages. However, when macrophage killing experiments were carried out with non-opsonized bacteria, sodC2 contributed to intracellular survival more than sodC1, indicating that changes in the pathways of bacterial uptake can modify the relative role of the two sodC genes. More unexpectedly, we have found that the ability of S. choleraesuis to survive within Caco-2 cells was severely affected by inactivation of sodC genes, sodC2 being more important than sodC1. As Caco-2 cells actively produce superoxide, this suggests that oxygen radical production by colonic cells has a role in controlling proliferation of facultative intracellular bacteria. Mouse infection studies confirmed that, in the S. choleraesuis strain under investigation, both sodC genes are required to confer full virulence, sodC2 contributing slightly more than sodC1 to Salmonella pathogenesis. Our findings contrast with the results of other studies carried out in S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and suggest that the relative contributions of sodC1 and sodC2 to host-pathogen interactive biology may vary depending on the Salmonella serovar or strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / physiopathology
  • Salmonella enterica / classification
  • Salmonella enterica / enzymology
  • Salmonella enterica / growth & development*
  • Salmonella enterica / pathogenicity*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*
  • Virulence


  • Superoxide Dismutase