Mechanisms to Evade the Phagocyte Respiratory Burst Arose by Convergent Evolution in Typhoidal Salmonella Serovars

Hirotaka Hiyoshi, Tamding Wangdi, Gabriel Lock, Cheng Saechao, Manuela Raffatellu, Brian A. Cobb, Andreas J Baumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Typhoid fever caused by Salmonella enterica serovar (S.) Typhi differs in its clinical presentation from gastroenteritis caused by S. Typhimurium and other non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars. The different clinical presentations are attributed in part to the virulence-associated capsular polysaccharide (Vi antigen) of S. Typhi, which prevents phagocytes from triggering a respiratory burst by preventing antibody-mediated complement activation. Paradoxically, the Vi antigen is absent from S. Paratyphi A, which causes a disease that is indistinguishable from typhoid fever. Here, we show that evasion of the phagocyte respiratory burst by S. Paratyphi A required very long O antigen chains containing the O2 antigen to inhibit antibody binding. We conclude that the ability to avoid the phagocyte respiratory burst is a property distinguishing typhoidal from non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars that was acquired by S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A independently through convergent evolution. The clinical presentation of typhoid fever differs from gastroenteritis, which has been attributed to the Salmonella enterica serovar (S.) Typhi capsular polysaccharide. Paradoxically, S. Paratyphi A is not capsulated but causes typhoid-like disease. Hiyoshi et al. show that the very long O antigen of S. Paratyphi A functions as a capsule, an example of convergent evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1787-1797
Number of pages11
JournalCell Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 13 2018


  • capsular polysaccharide
  • complement
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • natural IgM
  • neutrophil
  • paratyphoid fever
  • respiratory burst
  • typhoid fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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