IRP scientists find that Salmonella use intestinal epithelial cells to colonize the gut
The immune system’s attempt to eliminate Salmonella bacteria from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract instead facilitates colonization of the intestinal tract and fecal shedding, according to National Institutes of Health scientists. The study, published in Cell Host & Microbe, was conducted by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) scientists at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.
Salmonella Typhimurium bacteria (hereafter Salmonella) live in the gut and often cause gastroenteritis in people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the United States every year. Contaminated food is the source for most of these illnesses. Most people who get ill from Salmonella have diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps but recover without specific treatment. Antibiotics typically are used only to treat people who have severe illness or who are at risk for it.
Salmonella bacteria also can infect a wide variety of animals, including cattle, pigs and chickens. Although clinical disease usually resolves within a few days, the bacteria can persist in the GI tract for much longer. Fecal shedding of the bacteria facilitates transmission to new hosts, especially by so-called “super shedders” that release high numbers of bacteria in their feces.
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022