Zoom in on microorganisms

Germs that infect humans

Salmonella typhimurium

Salmonella typhimurium

© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.

Microorganism : the bacteria Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella enterica

Disease : salmonellosis

Occurrence of the disease

Current situation : around seven cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in Canada. These are mostly isolated cases; nevertheless, localized epidemics can occur as a result of the distribution of contaminated food products.

Mechanism of action of the microorganism : the bacteria are ingested through the consumption of contaminated food. The microorganism multiplies in the intestine.

Symptoms of the disease : abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Incubation period : six to 72 hours.

Contagious period : varies between several days and several weeks.

Hosts : many wild and domestic animals, including poultry, pigs, cattle, and rodents.

Transmission : consumption of contaminated meat.

Treatment : in general, rehydration of the patient is sufficient. For serious cases, there are antibiotics available, such as cyprofloxacin and ampicillin.

Geographical distribution of the microorganism : worldwide

Prevention : hand washing before and after meal preparation. In addition, adequate cooking of meat is recommended.

Vaccine : not available.