Salmonellosis: symptoms, transmission and prevention

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Salmonellosis is a gastrointestinal infection caused by bacteria of the genus salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae family.

Almost all representatives of the genre salmonella are widely distributed in nature.

The intestinal tract of humans and animals is its main natural reservoir.

They are pathogenic to man. Among the diseases that can cause are: Typhoid Fever, Enteric Fever and Salmonellosis.

The six subspecies of Salmonella enterica are responsible for causing salmonellosis.

Salmonellosis is the most common food poisoning in the world.

It represents a public health problem, even in developed countries.


The ingestion of contaminated food is the main form of transmission of salmonellosis to humans.

It can also occur when ingesting water or food contaminated with feces from infected animals.

When ingested, the bacteria penetrate the epithelium of the small intestine, causing inflammation.

The foods identified as being most responsible for cases of salmonellosis are:

  • milk and cheese
  • Eggs and their derivatives (puddings, eggnogs, mayonnaise)
  • Beef, pork and poultry
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When hygiene measures and correct handling of these foods are not adopted, they can favor the appearance and multiplication of salmonella.

Learn more about animal foods.


Symptoms of salmonellosis usually manifest within 12 to 36 hours of eating the contaminated food.

Among the symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent salmonellosis, hygiene measures must be adopted in the handling of food products, from the time of production to consumption.

It is also necessary to guarantee the necessary cooking time for each food, avoiding the consumption of raw foods.

When drinking milk, the ideal is to boil it before or consume the pasteurized type.

Personal hygiene habits, such as hand washing before meals, also help prevent salmonellosis.

For treatment, one must take care of the symptoms and keep the patient hydrated. There are usually no more serious complications.

However, when the bacteria reach other organs, the condition is more serious and the use of antibiotics becomes necessary.

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