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Related to salmonellosis: salmonella, shigellosis


(săl'mənĕlō`sĭs), any of a group of infectious diseases caused by intestinal bacteria of the genus Salmonella, including typhoid fevertyphoid fever
acute, generalized infection caused by Salmonella typhi. The main sources of infection are contaminated water or milk and, especially in urban communities, food handlers who are carriers.
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, paratyphoid fever, blood poisoning, and food poisoning (gastroenteritis).

Typhoid fever, caused by S. typhi, is spread by fecal contamination of water or milk or by food handlers who are carriers. It is characterized by a high fever and a rash on the chest and abdomen and can be fatal. Paratyphoid fever, caused by S. paratyphi, is also spread in the feces of victims or carriers. Outbreaks often occur where adequate hygiene, especially in food preparers, is not practiced. Paratyphoid is characterized by mild fever and a rash on the chest. Bacteremia is characterized by the presence of S. choleraesuis, S. typhimurium, or S. heidelberg in the blood. All three diseases are treated with the antibiotic chloramphenicolchloramphenicol
, antibiotic effective against a wide range of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria (see Gram's stain). It was originally isolated from a species of Streptomyces bacteria.
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, although some strains have become resistant.

The most common form of salmonellosis is food poisoning caused by S. typhimurium and other Salmonella species. Sources of infection include eggs, beef, poultry, unpasteurized dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. In 1998 a new product called CF-3, or Preempt, which could reduce but not eliminate Salmonella in chickens, was approved for sale to poultry farmers. Delivered as a spray to newly hatched chicks, it consists of a mixture of beneficial bacteria that the mother hen normally transferred to her chicks before the advent of factory farms.

Outbreaks of salmonellosis food poisoning occasionally result from contaminated institutional or other mass-prepared food. In the home the bacteria can spread via contaminated cooking areas. Carriers and household pets, especially pet reptiles, can also spread the disease. Symptoms arise 6 to 72 hours after exposure and include severe diarrhea, fever and chills, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms usually last three to five days.

A strain of S. typhimurium that infects patients with compromised immune systems, producing symptoms more like typhoid fever, was identified in 2012 in Africa. The infection develops rapidly, and the bacterium invades the bloodstream and the body's organs. In some cases the disease kills almost half the infected patients; the strain also has developed resistance to treatment with chloramphenicol.

See also food poisoningfood poisoning,
acute illness following the eating of foods contaminated by bacteria, bacterial toxins, natural poisons, or harmful chemical substances. It was once customary to classify all such illnesses as "ptomaine poisoning," but it was later discovered that ptomaines, the
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in animals and humans, an acute intestinal infection caused by salmonellas.

In man. Salmonellosis is considered to be a definite disease in nosology that differs from typhoid fever and paratyphoid. Infected animals are the main source of the disease, although humans (sick individuals or bacteria carriers) may sometimes be the source of infection. The disease is transmitted by infected foods that are usually of animal origin, including meat and meat products, milk, galantine, and eggs, especially duck and goose eggs. Foods become infected as a result of the forced, improper slaughter of animals and the violation of regulations governing the storage and preparation of food products, including contact between prepared and raw foods and insufficient cooking before consumption. Salmonellosis develops when food products containing live salmonellas enter the body.

Salmonellosis symptoms vary from the asymptomatic carrier state to severe septic forms. The incubation period ranges from two to six hours to two or three days. Several clinical forms of salmonellosis are distinguished. The onset of the gastrointestinal form of the disease is usually acute, with profuse vomiting and diarrhea. Stools are watery and often green and malodorous. There is pain, borborygmus, abdominal distention, weakness, headache, vertigo, chills, a rise in body temperature to 38°-40°C, pain in muscles and joints, and spasms of the muscles of the extremities. The disease usually lasts three to seven days.

The onset of the typhoid form of salmonellosis is similar, although the disease itself is characterized by a fever lasting from ten to 14 days, an enlarged liver and spleen, and more pronounced symptoms of systemic intoxication, including headache and sluggishness. Occasionally a rash develops. The septic form of the disease is characterized by the development of sepsis after a short initial period. A short bacteria carrier stage occurs during the convalescent period in 15–17 percent of salmonellosis cases. Carrier states can be transient or chronic.

Salmonelloses are diagnosed on the basis of clinical and epidemiologic data and the results of the bacteriological examination of feces, urine, blood, duodenal contents, vomit, gastric lavage fluids, and food residues. Serodiagnosis is also used. Treatment includes gastric and intestinal lavage and ingestion of a large amount of hot sweet liquids. In more severe forms of the disease, saline solutions are introduced that help control dehydration. Antispasmodics and antibiotics are also prescribed. Diet is important; food that is easy to digest (milk is prohibited) should be eaten for the first days of the disease. Factors that interfere with the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract should be avoided during illness and for at least a month after recovery; these factors include overeating and the consumption of alcoholic beverages, foods rich in coarse cellulose, canned and smoked foods, and highly seasoned, spicy, and fatty dishes.

Preventive measures include veterinary health inspections of the slaughter of livestock and the processing of carcasses, the observance of health regulations governing the preparation, storage, and sale of food products, and the examination of persons applying for work in restaurants, food stores, and children’s institutions.


Shur, I. V. Zabolevaniia saVmonelleznoi etiologii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
Rukovodstvopo infektsionnym bolezniam [book 2]. Moscow, 1967.
In animals. Typhoid and paratyphoid are salmonelloses caused by different species of salmonella. Horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, fur-bearing animals, birds, and bees are affected. Salmonellosis occurs on all continents.
In animals, salmonellosis is characterized by fever, spontaneous abortions, disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory and circulatory organs, and lesions of the central nervous system and joints. The disease is often fatal in young animals. It develops more rapidly and severely in animals already suffering from gastrointestinal diseases. Salmonellas may be activated in bacteria carriers by a change in the intestinal microflora brought about by antibiotics. Salmonellosis is promoted by insufficient and improper nutrition, cold, dampness, poor ventilation, crowded quarters, and fatiguing cattle drives.
A diagnosis is based on clinical, epizootiological, and patho-logicoanatomic findings and the results of bacteriologic and serologic examinations. Treatment includes the use of immune serums with antibiotics, nitrofurans, and symptomatic agents. Salmonellosis can be prevented by the observance of zoohy-gienic and veterinary health regulations; the isolation, and in some cases slaughter, of infected animals; and the vaccination of livestock.


Epizootologiia. Edited by R. F. Sosov. Moscow, 1969.


Infection with any species of Salmonella.
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