Yersinia pseudotuberculosis disseminates directly from a replicating bacterial pool in the intestine

Penelope D. Barnes, Molly A. Bergman, Joan Mecsas, Ralph R. Isberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Dissemination of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis within mice after oral inoculation was analyzed. Y. pseudotuberculosis translocated to organs such as the liver and spleen shortly after oral inoculation, but was quickly cleared. In contrast, a second temporally distinct bacterial translocation event resulted in successful hepatosplenic replication of the bacteria. Replicating pools of bacteria could be established in these organs in mouse mutants that lacked Peyer's patches. These animals frequently had sterile mesenteric lymph nodes, a finding consistent with translocation taking place independently of regional lymph node colonization. In further contradiction to accepted models for dissemination of enteropathogens, clonal analysis revealed that bacteria causing disease in the spleen and liver of C57BL/6J mice were derived from populations located outside the intestinal lymph nodes. Replication of bacteria in the intestine before translocation appeared critical for dissemination, as transient selective suppression by streptomycin of bacterial growth in the intestine delayed dissemination of Y. pseudotuberculosis. These results collectively indicate that hepatosplenic colonization appears intimately connected with the ability of Y. pseudotuberculosis to successfully establish replication in the intestinal lumen and does not result from ordered spread leading from the intestine to regional lymph nodes before dissemination. JEM

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1601
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 12 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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