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Summary

Signature-tagged transposon mutagenesis of Salmonella with differential recovery from wild-type and immunodeficient mice revealed that the gene here named cdgR[for c-diguanylate (c-diGMP) regulator] is required for the bacterium to resist host phagocyte oxidase in vivo. CdgR consists solely of a glutamate-alanine-leucine (EAL) domain, a predicted cyclic diGMP (c-diGMP) phosphodiesterase. Disruption of cdgR decreased bacterial resistance to hydrogen peroxide and accelerated bacterial killing of macrophages. An ultrasensitive assay revealed c-diGMP in wild-type Salmonella with increased levels in the CdgR-deficient mutant. Thus, besides its known role in regulating cellulose synthesis and biofilm formation, bacterial c-diGMP also regulates host–pathogen interactions involving antioxidant defence and cytotoxicity.