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      Gallstones play a significant role in Salmonella spp. gallbladder colonization and carriage.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

      Animals, Biofilms, Carrier State, Cation Transport Proteins, genetics, physiology, Cholesterol, metabolism, Feces, microbiology, Gallstones, Humans, Mice, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Salmonella typhimurium, growth & development

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          Abstract

          Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi can colonize the gallbladder and persist in an asymptomatic carrier state that is frequently associated with the presence of gallstones. We have shown that salmonellae form bile-mediated biofilms on human gallstones and cholesterol-coated surfaces in vitro. Here, we test the hypothesis that biofilms on cholesterol gallbladder stones facilitate typhoid carriage in mice and men. Naturally resistant (Nramp1(+/+)) mice fed a lithogenic diet developed cholesterol gallstones that supported biofilm formation during persistent serovar Typhimurium infection and, as a result, demonstrated enhanced fecal shedding and enhanced colonization of gallbladder tissue and bile. In typhoid endemic Mexico City, 5% of enrolled cholelithiasis patients carried serovar Typhi, and bacterial biofilms could be visualized on gallstones from these carriers whereas significant biofilms were not detected on gallstones from Escherichia coli infected gallbladders. These findings offer direct evidence that gallstone biofilms occur in humans and mice, which facilitate gallbladder colonization and shedding.

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          Journal
          10.1073/pnas.1000862107
          2840110
          20176950

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