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  • Topic: Salmonella enterica, Salmonella, Microbiology
  • Pages : 3 (877 words )
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  • Published : December 21, 2005
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What does their name mean?

There is a great deal of confusion over the naming of Salmonella strains (even the people who work on Salmonella are confused!) but in essence, the strains which we will deal with here are generally different serovars of Salmonella enterica.

This means that they all belong to the genus Salmonella, a division that groups similar, though not identical bacteria together. These bacteria are named after the scientist who discovered them, Dr. Daniel Salmon. The majority of the components of these bacteria are identical, and at the DNA level, they are between 95% and 99% identical. (As a comparison E. coli and Salmonella, which are closely related to each other, are about 60-70% identical at the DNA level).

As their name suggests Salmonella enterica are involved in causing diseases of the intestines (enteric means pertaining to the intestine). The three main serovars of Salmonella enterica are Typhimurium, Enteritidis, and Typhi. Each of these is discussed further below. These distinctions are are designed to help scientists distinguish similar bacteria from each other in papers and when discussing the genetics.

To complicate matters, serovars of Salmonella enterica can be subgrouped even further by "phage type". This technique uses the specificity of phage to differentiate between extremely closely related bacteria. Often these bacteria are indistinguishable by other means, and indeed, the reasons for the differences in phage specificity are often not known.

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. (Also called Salmonella Typhi or abbreviated to S. Typhi) This bacterium is the causative agent of typhoid fever. Although typhoid fever is not widespread in the United States, it is very common in under-developed countries, and causes a serious, often fatal disease. The symptoms of typhoid fever include nausea, vomiting, fever and death. Unlike the other Salmonella discussed below, S. Typhi can only infect humans, and no other host has...
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