Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is associated with a disseminated febrile illness in humans, termed typhoid fever, while Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium causes localized gastroenteritis in immunocompetent individuals. One of the genetic differences between both pathogens is the presence in S. Typhi of TviA, a regulatory protein that shuts down flagellin (FliC) expression when bacteria transit from the intestinal lumen into the intestinal mucosa. Here we investigated the consequences of TviA-mediated flagellum gene regulation on flagellin-specific CD4 T cell responses in a mouse model of S. Typhimurium infection. Introduction of the S. Typhi tviA gene into S. Typhimurium suppressed antigen presentation of dendritic cells to flagellinspecific CD4 T cells in vitro. Furthermore, TviA-mediated repression of flagellin expression impaired the activation and proliferation of naive flagellin-specific CD4 T cells in Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes, which was accompanied by increased bacterial dissemination to the spleen. We conclude that TviA-mediated repression of flagellin expression reduces antigen availability, thereby weakening flagellin-specific CD4 T cell responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases