Gene transfer between Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium inside epithelial cells.

Abstract

Virulence and antibiotic resistance genes transfer between bacteria by bacterial conjugation. Conjugation also mediates gene transfer from bacteria to eukaryotic organisms, including yeast and human cells. Predicting when and where genes transfer by conjugation could enhance our understanding of the risks involved in the release of genetically modified organisms, including those being developed for use as vaccines. We report here that Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium conjugated inside cultured human cells. The DNA transfer from donor to recipient bacteria was proportional to the probability that the two types of bacteria occupied the same cell, which was dependent on viable and invasive bacteria and on plasmid tra genes. Based on the high frequencies of gene transfer between bacteria inside human cells, we suggest that such gene transfers occur in situ. The implications of gene transfer between bacteria inside human cells, particularly in the context of antibiotic resistance, are discussed.

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Cite this paper

@article{Ferguson2002GeneTB, title={Gene transfer between Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium inside epithelial cells.}, author={Gayle C. Ferguson and Jack A . Heinemann and Martin A Kennedy}, journal={Journal of bacteriology}, year={2002}, volume={184 8}, pages={2235-42} }