These include HilA that binds and represses the promoter of ssaH , and HilD that binds and activates the promoter of the ssrAB operon . In contrast, SsrAB has never been shown to act on the expression of SPI1 genes. Figure 1 Genetic organization of SPI1 (A) and SPI2 (B). The genes encoding structural AZD2281 mouse proteins are in grey, and the genes that code for transcriptional regulators are in black. The deletions are represented by the black line above the graphs. Few studies have investigated the role of SPI1 and SPI2 during the infection of chickens. In studies using Typhimurium, two approaches have provided
data about the roles of SPI1 and SPI2. The first approach compared colonization in chickens by infecting with single strains and enumerating colonies from internal organs. Porter and Curtiss  found that mutations in
structural genes of the SPI1 T3SS resulted in a reduction of the colonization of the intestines in day-old chickens. Jones et al.  generated strains with deletions of spaS and ssaU, genes that encode structural proteins of the SPI1 mTOR inhibitor and SPI2 T3SS respectively, and compared their ability to colonize the cecum and liver in one-day and one-week old chickens to that of wild type. They concluded that both SPI1 and SPI2 play major roles in both the intestinal and the systemic compartments, with SPI2 contributing more than SPI1 in both compartments. The second approach screened random transposon libraries for reduced recovery from the chicken gastrointestinal Methane monooxygenase tract through cloacal swabbing. Turner et al.  analyzed a library of 2,800 mutants for intestinal colonization in chickens. Among the mutants that showed reduced intestinal colonization they found one in which the SPI1 gene sipC was inactivated. No mutations in SPI2 genes were identified in this screen. Morgan et al.  screened a library of 1,045 mutants in chickens and found two mutations in SPI1 genes and one in a SPI2 gene that led to a reduction in colonization ability. The SPI1 mutants were unable to be recovered from 50% or 100% of the day old birds tested, while the single SPI2 gene was unable to be recovered in only 33%.
In this study fourteen strains with mutations in SPI1 and fifteen strains with mutations in SPI2 did not show any defect in colonization. The authors of these two studies concluded that SPI1 and SPI2 play a marginal role in the colonization of chicken intestines by Typhimurium. To gain better insight in the role of these important virulence factors we have taken a different approach. First, we performed mixed infections in which the strains that are being compared (the wild type and a mutant, or two different mutants) are co-administered. This approach more directly addresses the contribution of SPI1 and SPI2 by decreasing the learn more animal to animal variations inherent in such studies and giving us the ability to test the fitness of two mutants directly against each other.