Many pathogenic bacteria rely on secretion systems to modulate host responses. The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is present in several animal and plant pathogens. Serotypes of Salmonella enterica comprise facultative intracellular Gram-negative bacteria responsible for causing infections in vertebrates. Salmonella Typhimurium encodes a T6SS in the pathogenicity island SPI-6 and deletion of genes essential for the functioning of this system render the bacteria less virulent in mice models of systemic infection, indicating that T6SS plays an important role during infection. However, the molecular mechanisms by which T6SS contributes to systemic dissemination promoting the colonization of internal organs has not yet been elucidated. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) larva is commonly used for the study of bacterial infections because it is optically accessible and allows investigation of the infection process, including the interaction of bacteria with innate immune cells in vivo. In this context, this proposal aims to use a zebrafish infection model to study the role of the Salmonella T6SS during infection and survival within innate immune cells. This proposal is part of young investigator grant from FAPESP.
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