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Summary

Salmonella spp. can enter into non-phagocytic cells, a property that is essential for their pathogenicity. Recently, considerable progress has been made in the understanding of the molecular genetic bases of this process. It is now evident that Salmonella entry functions are largely encoded on a 35–40 kb region of the Salmonella chromosome located at centisome 63. The majority of the loci in this region encode components of a type III or contact-dependent secretion system homologous to those described in a variety of animal and plant-pathogenic bacteria as well as a number of proteins that require this system for their export to the extracellular environment. A somewhat unexpected finding has been the remarkable homology between the Salmonella and Shigella proteins that mediate the entry of these organisms into cultured epithelial cells.