A Vibrio T6SS-Mediated Lethality in an Aquatic Animal Model

Hadar Cohen, Chaya M. Fridman, Motti Gerlic*, Dor Salomon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteria belonging to the genus Vibrio include many known and emerging pathogens. Horizontal gene transfer of pathogenicity islands is a major contributor to the emergence of new pathogenic Vibrio strains. Here, we use the brine shrimp Artemia salina as a model and show that the marine bacterium Vibrio proteolyticus uses a horizontally shared type VI secretion system, T6SS3, to intoxicate a eukaryotic host. Two T6SS3 effectors, which were previously shown to induce inflammasome-mediated pyroptotic cell death in mammalian phagocytic cells, contribute to this toxicity. Furthermore, we find a novel T6SS3 effector that also contributes to the lethality mediated by this system against Artemia salina. Therefore, our results reveal a T6SS that is shared among diverse vibrios and mediates host lethality, indicating that it can lead to the emergence of new pathogenic strains.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Artemia
  • Vibrio proteolyticus
  • effector
  • effector functions
  • host-pathogen interaction
  • secretion
  • virulence


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