Bacterial infections are increasingly being recognized as risk factors for the development of adenocarcinomas. The strong epidemiological evidence linking Helicobacter pylori infection to stomach cancer has paved the way to the demonstration that bacterial infections cause DNA damage in the host cells, initiating transformation. In this regard, the role of bacterial genotoxins has become more relevant. Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A have been clinically associated with gallbladder cancer. By harnessing the stem cell potential of cells from healthy human gallbladder explant, we regenerated and propagated the epithelium of this organ in vitro and used these cultures to model S. Paratyphi A infection. This study demonstrates the importance of the typhoid toxin, encoded only by these specific serovars, in causing genomic instability in healthy gallbladder cells, posing intoxicated cells at risk of malignant transformation.
American Society for Microbiology