Our experiments will use genetic approaches to compare Salmonella Enteritidis,which has a broad host range and infects humans, chickens, and mice,with Salmonella Pullorum, a host-specific strain that only infects chickens.We plan to identify the genes that determine host-specificity in these two strains of Salmonella.
Salmonella enterica are a large group of bacteria that are a major cause of food poisoning. A common source of human food poisoning is via Salmonella strains that infect farm animals. Salmonella strains produce distinct disease symptoms in different animals. Some Salmonella strains cause relatively mild disease, but strains with new , pernicious virulence properties arise rapidly. Such new strains often seem to have acquired changes in host-specificity that allowed them to infect a different animal host. If we understood what determines host specificity we could develop approaches to limit this problem, but very little is known about what determines the host-specificity of bacteria. These studies will provide novel approaches to limit the development and spread of virulent Salmonella strains between farm animals and from farm animals to humans, and approaches to circumvent the emergence of new infectious diseases in farm animals.