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A Glimpse at the Anti-Phage Defenses Landscape in the Foodborne Pathogen Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium

  • woudstra;, cedric
Publication Date
Jan 24, 2023
DOI: 10.3390/v15020333
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Bacteriophages, which specifically infect and kill bacteria, are currently used as additives to control pathogens such as Salmonella in human food (PhageGuard S®) or animal feed (SalmoFREE®, Bafasal®). Indeed, salmonellosis is among the most important zoonotic foodborne illnesses. The presence of anti-phage defenses protecting bacteria against phage infection could impair phage applications aiming at reducing the burden of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) to the food industry. In this study, the landscape of S. Typhimurium anti-phage defenses was bioinformatically investigated in publicly available genomes using the webserver PADLOC. The primary anti-phage systems identified in S. Typhimurium use nucleic acid degradation and abortive infection mechanisms. Reference systems were identified on an integrative and conjugative element, a transposon, a putative integrative and mobilizable element, and prophages. Additionally, the mobile genetic elements (MGEs) containing a subset of anti-phage systems were found in the Salmonella enterica species. Lastly, the MGEs alone were also identified in the Enterobacteriaceae family. The presented diversity assessment of the anti-phage defenses and investigation of their dissemination through MGEs in S. Typhimurium constitute a first step towards the design of preventive measures against the spread of phage resistance that may hinder phage applications.

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