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Build a bug activity
Introduction to Salmonella
What is a pathogen?
• A pathogen is a disease causing agent
Bacteria
Fungus
Protozoa
Virus
Images: Janice Carr; CDC/Dr. Godon Roberstad; Wellcome Images; Anna Tanczos, Wellcome Images
Question
Can you name a disease caused
by bacteria?
Bacteria features
Image: Genome Research Limited
Salmonella
• Salmonella infections can be
transmitted between humans
and animals. Infection via food
is also possible.
Image: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
• This activity focuses on two
types of Salmonella that
cause two distinctive
diseases:
– gastroenteritis Salmonella
– typhoid Salmonella.
The genus:
Salmonella
Defined by
biochemistry
Defined by
disease
syndrome
Affects
Humans
only
Affects
Humans,
cows &
lizards
What’s the difference?
Salmonella Typhimurium
• Generalist
• Food poisoning /
gastroenteritis (localised)
• 6 – 24 hour incubation
• Symptoms
– Diarrhoea, vomiting and
abdominal cramps
• Zoonosis
• 479 unique genes
Salmonella Typhi
• Human specific
• Typhoid fever (systemic)
• 1 – 3 week incubation
• Symptoms
– Slow progressive fever (up
to 40oC), sweating ,
abdominal pain.
– If left untreated can lead to
intestinal haemorrhage or
perforation.
• 601
unique
genes
Image:
David Goulding,
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Antibiotic resistance
Around the world, more drug resistance isolates of Salmonella
Typhi are being found.
Images: Genome Research Limited
How does resistance occur?
• Use of antibiotics creates
a selective pressure.
• Only bacteria with genes
that confer resistance
can survive a treatment
of antibiotics.
• Eventually they can
make up the whole
population.
Population after
Before
antibiotics
Add
antibiotics
antibiotics
Horizontal transfer
• New antibiotic genes can be acquired via
horizontal transfer or conjugation.
Images: Genome Research Limited
New multi-drug resistant
Salmonella Typhimurium
• A new multi drug resistant
strain of Salmonella
Typhimurium is emerging in
Sub Saharan Africa.
• Sequencing the genome of the
bacteria revealed important
information about the biology
of the organism.
Image: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Hear from the leading scientist on the research programme
The Activity
• Research and assemble a Salmonella
bacterial genome.
• Use the information resources to research
key genetic components which determine
the bacteria’s disease causing ability.
• Use modelling clay to create your bacterial
genome.
Information cards
Your Genome Scholar
Plasmid
Complete worksheet
Assemble a genome
• Using modelling clay or
the paper genome
provided assemble
three key genetic
components on a
chromosome backbone
for either:
– Salmonella Typhi or
– Salmonella Typhimurium.
Feed back your results
• Add your results to the class spreadsheet
or results table.
Answer summary
Component
ratB, sivH, shdA
Pseudogenes
SPI-7, SPI-8, SPI-10
Fimbrial genes
Capsule genes
Virulence plasmid
STY3258
STM2133
ECK1674
ECK4368
Description / Function
The proteins encoded by these genes allow the bacterium
to adhere to and colonise the gut of host organisms
Genes which no longer function or have been inactivated;
implicated in the ability of Salmonella to cause Typhoid
fever.
Clusters of genes unique to the Salmonella Typhi
bacterial chromosome.
Clusters of genes linked with causing diarrhoea in
humans.
The proteins encoded by these genes form a protective
layer around the bacteria which prevents it being detected
by the host’s immune system.
A ring of DNA found in the bacterial cell which increases
the rate at which the bacteria replicates itself in the host’s
tissues beyond the intestines.
This gene is found on the Salmonella Typhi genome but
there is no information on its specific function.
This gene is found on the Salmonella Typhimurium
genome but there is no information on its specific
function.
This gene is found on the Escherichia coli genome but
there is no information on its specific function.
This gene is found on the Escherichia coli genome but
there is no information on its specific function.
Salmonella
Typhi
Salmonella
Typhimurium






Red herring ()
Red herring ()




Answer Summary
Salmonella
Typhi
Component
Description / Function
ratB, sivH, shdA
The proteins encoded by these genes allow the bacterium
to adhere to and colonise the gut of host organisms
Pseudogenes
Genes which no longer function or have been inactivated;
implicated in the ability of Salmonella to cause Typhoid
fever.

Clusters of genes unique to the Salmonella Typhi

SPI-7, SPI-8, SPI-10 bacterial chromosome.
Fimbrial genes
Clusters of genes linked with causing diarrhoea in
humans.
Capsule genes
The proteins encoded by these genes form a protective
layer around the bacteria which prevents it being detected
by the host’s immune system.
Virulence plasmid
A ring of DNA found in the bacterial cell which increases
the rate at which the bacteria replicates itself in the host’s
tissues beyond the intestines.
Salmonella
Typhimurium




What’s the impact?
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