Open Access Open Badges Research

T-2 toxin induced Salmonella Typhimurium intoxication results in decreased Salmonella numbers in the cecum contents of pigs, despite marked effects on Salmonella-host cell interactions

Elin Verbrugghe1*, Virginie Vandenbroucke2, Maarten Dhaenens3, Neil Shearer4, Joline Goossens2, Sarah De Saeger5, Mia Eeckhout6, Katharina D'Herde7, Arthur Thompson4, Dieter Deforce3, Filip Boyen1, Bregje Leyman1, Alexander Van Parys1, Patrick De Backer2, Freddy Haesebrouck1, Siska Croubels2 and Frank Pasmans1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

2 Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

3 Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

4 Department of Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens, Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, NR4 7UA Norwich, UK

5 Department of Bioanalysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

6 Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied bioengineering, University College Ghent, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

7 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

For all author emails, please log on.

Veterinary Research 2012, 43:22  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-22

Published: 22 March 2012


The mycotoxin T-2 toxin and Salmonella Typhimurium infections pose a significant threat to human and animal health. Interactions between both agents may result in a different outcome of the infection. Therefore, the aim of the presented study was to investigate the effects of low and relevant concentrations of T-2 toxin on the course of a Salmonella Typhimurium infection in pigs. We showed that the presence of 15 and 83 μg T-2 toxin per kg feed significantly decreased the amount of Salmonella Typhimurium bacteria present in the cecum contents, and a tendency to a reduced colonization of the jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and colon contents was noticed. In vitro, proteomic analysis of porcine enterocytes revealed that a very low concentration of T-2 toxin (5 ng/mL) affects the protein expression of mitochondrial, endoplasmatic reticulum and cytoskeleton associated proteins, proteins involved in protein synthesis and folding, RNA synthesis, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and regulatory processes. Similarly low concentrations (1-100 ng/mL) promoted the susceptibility of porcine macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells to Salmonella Typhimurium invasion, in a SPI-1 independent manner. Furthermore, T-2 toxin (1-5 ng/mL) promoted the translocation of Salmonella Typhimurium over an intestinal porcine epithelial cell monolayer. Although these findings may seem in favour of Salmonella Typhimurium, microarray analysis showed that T-2 toxin (5 ng/mL) causes an intoxication of Salmonella Typhimurium, represented by a reduced motility and a downregulation of metabolic and Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 genes. This study demonstrates marked interactions of T-2 toxin with Salmonella Typhimurium pathogenesis, resulting in bacterial intoxication.