salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is any disease caused by bacteria of the genus Salmonella. Salmonellosis manifests itself in many ways, but they can still be grouped into such groups as typhoid and paratyphoid infections (clinically similar to typhoid fever caused by S. paratyphi), gastroenteritis (gastrointestinal infections) and localized infections. Typhoid fever and paratyphoid diseases are characterized by bacteremia (the penetration of bacteria into the bloodstream) and a long (several weeks) course. Gastroenteritis, including salmonella “food poisoning”, traditionally occurs as a short (several days), mild or moderate disease, characterized by an inflammatory process in the small intestine. In localized infections, Salmonella affects individual tissues or organs, such as the gallbladder.

Salmonellosis, especially Salmonella gastroenteritis, is widespread throughout the world; they occur not only in humans but also in many animal species, including mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, and the incidence appears to be increasing in both animal populations and humans. By affecting livestock, the disease causes serious economic losses. There are approximately 2 million cases of salmonellosis per year in the US population.

Salmonella enters the body most often by the oral-fecal route, i.e. with food or water contaminated with infected feces. In addition, it is possible to transmit the infection through direct contact with infected animals or people, also with contaminated animal products, such as meat or eggs.

Salmonella gastroenteritis occurs in the next two days after oral infection. With typhoid-paratyphoid diseases, the incubation period can last up to 25 days. In typical cases of salmonellosis, fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea are observed (but in typhoid fever – constipation).

For treatment, antibiotics and fixing agents are used, and fluid loss will also need to be replaced. Salmonella survives well outside the body even under adverse conditions, so the prevention of salmonellosis is based on the destruction of bacteria by heat sterilization or disinfectants, improved sanitation and proper storage of food in refrigerators.

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