Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence factor of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and is composed of lipid A, core oligosaccharide (C-OS), and O-antigen polysaccharide (O-PS). While the functions of the gene products involved in synthesis of core and O-antigen have been elucidated, the effect of removing O-antigen and core sugars on the virulence and immunogenicity of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium has not been systematically studied. We introduced nonpolar, defined deletion mutations in waaG (rfaG), waaI (rfaI), rfaH, waaJ (rfaJ), wbaP (rfbP), waaL (rfaL), or wzy (rfc) into wild-type S. Typhimurium. The LPS structure was confirmed, and a number of in vitro and in vivo properties of each mutant were analyzed. All mutants were significantly attenuated compared to the wild-type parent when administered orally to BALB/c mice and were less invasive in host tissues. Strains with ΔwaaG and ΔwaaI mutations, in particular, were deficient in colonization of Peyer's patches and liver. This deficiency could be partially overcome in the ΔwaaI mutant when it was administered intranasally. In the context of an attenuated vaccine strain delivering the pneumococcal antigen PspA, all of the mutations tested resulted in reduced immune responses against PspA and Salmonella antigens. Our results indicate that nonreversible truncation of the outer core is not a viable option for developing a live oral Salmonella vaccine, while a wzy mutant that retains one O-antigen unit is adequate for stimulating the optimal protective immunity to homologous or heterologous antigens by oral, intranasal, or intraperitoneal routes of administration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases