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A genus of bacteria belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. A group of gram negative, usually motile, rods. More than 1400 species have been classified. Several species are pathogenic, some producing mild gastroenteritis, others producing a severe and often fatal food poisoning, which is called Salmonellosis.

The Salmonella group previously was also called the TPE group, the so-called typhus-parathyphus-enteritis group, or para-typhoid bacilli. It comprises the typhus bacillus, Salmonella typhi, previously called Eberthella typhi for the German bacteriologist Karl Joseph Eberth (1835-1926), and Shigella dysenteria, a bacillus causing a form of dysentery, named for the Japanese bacteriologist Kiyoshi Shiga (1871-1957).

The Salmonella bacterium a was first described by Theobald Smith (1859-1934) and Salmon in 1885 in a strain isolated from pigs with hog cholera, in the paper Investigations on Swine Plague, published in the Second Annual Report of Bureau of Animal Industry. Salmon termed it Hog-cholerabacillus. It is now called Salmonella cholera suis, but is not the real cause of swine plague, which is a viral disease. Salmonella was first discovered by Theobald Smith.

It was the French bacteriologist Joseph Léon Marcel Ligniéres (1868-1933) who, in 1900, suggested that the entire group of bacteria to which the swine pest bacillus belongs, should be termed Salmonella in honour of Salmon.

  • Salmonella choleraesuis.
    Species often found to be the cause of septicaemia.
  • Salmonella enhteritidis.
    Species causing gastroenteritis and food poisoning in man.
  • Salmonalle paratyphi:
    A group of Salmonella, types A, B, and C, that causes parathyphoid fever.
  • Salmonella schottmülleri.
    Species causing paratyphoid fever, type B.
    (Hugo Schottmüller, German physician and bacteriologist, 1867-1936)
  • Salmonella typhimurium.
    Species frequently isolated from persons with acute gastroenteritis.
  • Salmonella typhi.
    Species causing typhoid fever in man.

  • Bibliography

    • D. E. Salmon, T. Smith:
      The bacterium of swine-plague.
      American Monthly Microscopical Journal, 1886, 7: 204-205.
      Discovery of Salmonella cholerae-suis.

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