A mutation in the poxA gene of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium alters protein production, elevates susceptibility to environmental challenges, and decreases swine colonization

Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2011 Jun;8(6):725-32. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2010.0796. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Control of foodborne Salmonella within the farm-retail continuum is a complex issue since over 2500 serovars of Salmonella exist, the host range of Salmonella spp. varies greatly, and Salmonella is environmentally ubiquitous. To identify Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (Salmonella Typhimurium) genes important for pathogen survival, our research group previously screened a signature-tagged mutagenesis bank in an ex vivo swine stomach content assay. A mutation in the poxA gene, a member of the gene family encoding class-II aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, decreased survival of Salmonella Typhimurium in the ex vivo swine stomach content assay. In the current study, complementation with a plasmid-encoded poxA gene restored survival of the poxA mutant to the level of the parental, wild-type strain. In vivo analysis of the poxA mutant in the natural porcine host revealed significantly reduced fecal shedding of Salmonella, decreased colonization of the tonsils, and decreased detection of the mutant strain in the cecal contents of the pigs at 7 days postinoculation (p < 0.05). Body temperature (fever) of the pigs inoculated with wild-type Salmonella Typhimurium was significantly higher than that of pigs inoculated with the poxA mutant (p < 0.05). Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed characteristic differences in the protein profile of the poxA mutant relative to the wild-type strain, indicating that deletion of poxA in Salmonella Typhimurium exerts selective effects on translation and/or posttranslational modifications of mRNA species that are necessary for stress survival and colonization of the natural swine host.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Bacterial Shedding
  • Bacterial Translocation
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Cell Line
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / veterinary
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Lysine-tRNA Ligase / genetics
  • Lysine-tRNA Ligase / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microbial Viability*
  • Mutation*
  • Palatine Tonsil / microbiology
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / physiopathology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / enzymology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / pathogenicity*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / physiology
  • Sus scrofa


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Lysine-tRNA Ligase