Reduced invasion to human epithelial cell lines of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi carrying S. Typhimurium sopD2


  • Present address: Annette N. Trombert, Centro de Genomica y Bioinformatica, Instituto de Biotecnologia, Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile.

  • Editor: Ian Henderson

Correspondence: Guido C. Mora, Laboratorio de Microbiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Andrés Bello, Avda. República 217, Santiago, Chile. Tel.: +56 02 661 8373; fax: +56 02 661 8069; e-mail:


Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Typhimurium are closely related serovars. However, S. Typhi, a human-specific pathogen, has 5% of genes as pseudogenes, far more than S. Typhimurium, which only has 1%. One of these pseudogenes corresponds to sopD2, which in S. Typhimurium encodes an effector protein involved in Salmonella-containing vacuole biogenesis in human epithelial cell lines, which is needed for full virulence of the pathogen. We investigated whether S. Typhi trans-complemented with the functional sopD2 gene from S. Typhimurium (sopD2STM) would reduce the invasion of human epithelial cell lines. Our results showed that the presence of sopD2STM in S. Typhi significantly modified the bacterial ability to alter cellular permeability and decrease the CFUs recovered after cell invasion of human epithelial cell line. These results add to mounting evidence that pseudogenes contribute to S. Typhi adaptation to humans.