Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Bart C. Weimer


Bart C. Weimer


Marie Walsh


Dong Chen


John Stevens


Joanie Hevel


Salmonella is a food-borne pathogen that leads to substantial illness worldwide. The clinical syndromes associated with Salmonella infection are enteric (typhoid) fever and gastroenteritis, in healthy humans. Typhoid fever is caused by host-adapted S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi. Gastroenteritis is caused by serovars usually referred to as non typhoidal Salmonellae (NTS). In recent years, an increasing number of outbreaks due to NTS, despite increased efforts in food safety, were reported because of persistence of Salmonella in the food chain. Thus I hypothesized that Salmonella is able to withstand stresses in the environment and treatments used during food processing for its elimination and thereby able to develop resistance against subsequent stress encounters. The effect of cold, peroxide, and acid was tested on survival of S. Typhimurium and the survival was persistent under cold stress (5°C) for up to 240 h. Pre-adaptation to cold stress (5°C, 5 h) also increased survival of S. Typhimurium during subsequent exposure to acid stress (pH 4.0, 90 min) by repressing hydroxyl radical formation. Cold stress (5°C, 48 h) to S. Typhimurium significantly (p < 0.05) increased its adhesion and invasion in intestinal iv epithelial cells. This phenotype was attributed to a pair of protein-protein interactorsacting as receptors on microbial (STM2699) and host cell surface (SPTAN1). Cold stress significantly (q < 0.05) induced STM2699 in S. Typhimurium and SPTAN1 was significantly (q < 0.05) induced in pithelial cells upon infection with cold-stressed S. Typhimurium. Cold stress to S. Typhimurium also significantly (q < 0.05) induced genes related to virulence such as type 3 secretion system apparatus and effectors genes, prophage genes, and plasmid genes and they remain induced upon infection of epithelial cells with additional induction of spv genes on the plasmid. Infection of epithelial cells with cold-stressed S. Typhimurium significantly (p < 0.05) increased activation of caspase 9 and 3/7. Cold-stressed S. Typhimurium switched metabolism from aerobic respiration to fermentation and it persisted during infection of epithelial cells. As a result, short chain fatty acids formate and acetate, which act as diffusible signal for invasion, were detected in significantly (q < 0.05) high amounts in extracellular media of cells infected with cold-stressed S. Typhimurium supporting the phenotype of high adhesion and invasion of cold-stressed S. Typhimurium in epithelial cells.




This work made publicly available electronically on May 11, 2011.

Included in

Microbiology Commons