A genome-wide screen identifies Salmonella Enteritidis lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and the HtrA heat shock protein as crucial factors involved in egg white persistence at chicken body temperature
Eggs contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis are an important source of human foodborne Salmonella infections. Salmonella Enteritidis is able to contaminate egg white during formation of the egg within the chicken oviduct, and it has developed strategies to withstand the antimicrobial properties of egg white to survive in this hostile environment. The mechanisms involved in the persistence of Salmonella Enteritidis in egg white are likely to be complex. To address this issue, a microarray-based transposon library screen was performed to identify genes necessary for survival of Salmonella Enteritidis in egg white at chicken body temperature. The majority of identified genes belonged to the lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis pathway. Additionally, we provide evidence that the serine protease/heat shock protein (HtrA) appears essential for the survival of Salmonella Enteritidis in egg white at chicken body temperature.