Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin is a zoonotic infection that can be transmitted from cattle to humans through consumption of contaminated milk and milk products. Outbreaks of human infections by S. Dublin have been reported in several countries including high-income countries. A high proportion of S. Dublin cases in humans are associated with invasive disease and systemic illness. The genetic basis of virulence in S. Dublin is not well characterized.
Whole genome sequencing was applied to a set of clinical invasive and non-invasive S. Dublin isolates from different countries in order to characterize the putative genetic determinants involved in the virulence and invasiveness of S. Dublin in humans.
We identified several virulence factors that form the bacterial invasome and may
contribute to increasing bacterial virulence and pathogenicity including mainly Gifsy-2 prophage, two different type 6 secretion systems (T6SSs) harbored by Salmonella pathogenicity islands; SPI-6 and SPI-19 respectively and virulence genes; ggt and PagN. Although Vi antigen and the virulence plasmid have been reported previously to contribute to the virulence of S. Dublin we did not detect them in all invasive isolates indicating that they are not the main virulence determinants in S. Dublin.
Several virulence factors within the genome of S. Dublin might contribute to the ability of S. Dublin to invade humans’ blood but there were no genomic markers that differentiate invasive from non-invasive isolates suggesting that host immune response play a crucial role in the clinical outcome of S. Dublin infection.