• bacteria/bacterial immunity;
  • dendritic cells;
  • phagocytosis


Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium can enter non-phagocytic cells, such as intestinal epithelial cells, by virtue of a Type Three Secretion System (TTSS) encoded in the Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 (SPI-1), which translocates bacterial effector molecules into the host cell. Salmonella can also be taken up by dendritic cells (DCs). Although the role of SPI-1 in non-phagocytic cell invasion is well established, its contribution to invasion of phagocytic cells has not been evaluated. Here, we have tested the invasive capacity of a S. Typhimurium strain lacking a key component of its TTSS-1 (ΔInvC) leading to defective translocation of SPI-1-encoded effectors. Whereas this mutant Salmonella strain was impaired for invasion of non-phagocytic cells, it was taken up by DCs at a significantly higher rate than wild-type Salmonella. Similar to wild-type Salmonella, the ΔInvC mutant strain retained the capacity to avoid antigen presentation to T cells. However, mice infected with the ΔInvC mutant strain showed higher survival rate and reduced organ colonization. Our data suggest that, besides promoting phagocytosis by non-phagocytic cells, SPI-1 modulates the number of bacteria that enters DCs. The SPI-1 could be considered not only as an inducer of epithelial cell invasion but as a controller of DC entry.