Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium lacking hfq gene confers protective immunity against murine typhoid

Uday Shankar Allam, M. Gopala Krishna, Amit Lahiri, Omana Joy, Dipshikha Chakravortty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Salmonella enterica is an important enteric pathogen and its various serovars are involved in causing both systemic and intestinal diseases in humans and domestic animals. The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of Salmonella leading to increased morbidity and mortality has further complicated its management. Live attenuated vaccines have been proven superior over killed or subunit vaccines due to their ability to induce protective immunity. Of the various strategies used for the generation of live attenuated vaccine strains, focus has gradually shifted towards manipulation of virulence regulator genes. Hfq is a RNA chaperon which mediates the binding of small RNAs to the mRNA and assists in post-transcriptional gene regulation in bacteria. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the Salmonella Typhimurium Δhfq strain as a candidate for live oral vaccine in murine model of typhoid fever. Salmonella hfq deletion mutant is highly attenuated in cell culture and animal model implying a significant role of Hfq in bacterial virulence. Oral immunization with the Salmonella hfq deletion mutant efficiently protects mice against subsequent oral challenge with virulent strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. Moreover, protection was induced upon both multiple as well as single dose of immunizations. The vaccine strain appears to be safe for use in pregnant mice and the protection is mediated by the increase in the number of CD4+ T lymphocytes upon vaccination. The levels of serum IgG and secretory-IgA in intestinal washes specific to lipopolysaccharide and outer membrane protein were significantly increased upon vaccination. Furthermore, hfq deletion mutant showed enhanced antigen presentation by dendritic cells compared to the wild type strain. Taken together, the studies in murine immunization model suggest that the Salmonella hfq deletion mutant can be a novel live oral vaccine candidate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16667
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium lacking hfq gene confers protective immunity against murine typhoid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this