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Another Dimension

Thoughtful essays, short stories, or poems on philosophical issues related to science, medical practice, and human health. Topics may include science and the human condition, the unanticipated side of epidemic investigations, or how people perceive and cope with infections and illness.

Volume 22—2016

Volume 22, Number 12—December 2016

Flu Days
P. Makuck

Volume 22, Number 7—July 2016

image of the 'Thumbnail' version of the Volume 22, Number 7—July 2016 cover of the CDC's EID journal
Around the World in 1,475 Salmonella Geo-serotypes PDF Version [PDF - 1.40 MB - 5 pages]
C. M. Gossner et al.
View Summary

Most Salmonella serotypes are named after geographic locations; a few others have surprisingly humorous origins.

    View Abstract

It’s easy to remember Salmonella serotypes names, isn’t it? Surely, this is because the naming system of Salmonella serotypes is by far the most scientist friendly. Traditionally, most Salmonella serotypes have been named after geographic locations. We decided to explore the geographic locations to which Salmonella serotypes refer and describe some unexpected twists in the naming scheme. We found that 93% (n = 1,475) of the 1,585 serotypes could be categorized as geo-serotypes; that is, the name refers to a geographic location. The 3 countries with the most geo-serotypes are Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Other serotype names refer to the name of a person, animal, tribe, or food item or are a composite of symptoms and host. The Salmonella serotypes naming scheme has had a valuable effect on public health microbiology, and in the current era of fast development of whole-genome sequencing, it should remain a reference.

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