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Volume 26, Number 12—December 2020
Etymologia

Salmonella

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Daniel F. M. MonteComments to Author  and Fábio P. Sellera
Author affiliation: University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Salmonella [sal′′mo-nel′ә]

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Drug-resistant, nontyphoidal, Salmonella sp. bacteria showing numerous flagella. Taken from Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 (AR Threats Report); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Illustration: James Archer/ CDC, 2019.

Figure. Drug-resistant, nontyphoidal, Salmonella sp. bacteria showing numerous flagella. Taken from Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 (AR Threats Report); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Illustration: James Archer/...

Named in honor of Daniel Elmer Salmon, an American veterinary pathologist, Salmonella (Figure) is a genus of motile, gram-negative bacillus, nonspore-forming, aerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae. In 1880, Karl Joseph Eberth was the first to observe Salmonella from specimens of patients with typhoid fever (from the Greek typhōdes [like smoke; delirious]), which was formerly called Eberthella typhosa in his tribute. In 1884, Georg Gaffky successfully isolated this bacillus (later described as Salmonella Typhi) from patients with typhoid fever, confirming Eberth’s findings. Shortly afterward, Salmon and his assistant Theobald Smith, an American bacteriologist, isolated Salmonella Choleraesuis from swine, incorrectly assuming that this germ was the causative agent of hog cholera. Later, Joseph Lignières, a French bacteriologist, proposed the genus name Salmonella in recognition of Salmon’s efforts.

With a complicated taxonomy, the genus Salmonella is currently classified into 2 species (S. enterica and S. bongori), encompassing 2,659 serotypes based on somatic O and H flagellar antigens as specified in the Kauffmann–White–Le Minor scheme. S. enterica is divided into 6 subspecies: enterica, salamae, arizonae, diarizonae, houtenae, and indica. Arguably, this zoonotic pathogen remains one of the most pressing global concerns. It causes a spectrum of diseases in several hosts, and there is much to be learned and deciphered about its continuous evolution.

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References

  1. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
  2. Gossner  CM, Le Hello  S, de Jong  B, Rolfhamre  P, Faensen  D, Weill  FX, et al. Around the world in 1,475 Salmonella geo-serotypes [Another Dimension]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22:1298302. DOI
  3. Issenhuth-Jeanjean  S, Roggentin  P, Mikoleit  M, Guibourdenche  M, de Pinna  E, Nair  S, et al. Supplement 2008-2010 (no. 48) to the White-Kauffmann-Le Minor scheme. Res Microbiol. 2014;165:52630. DOIPubMed
  4. Salmon  DE. The discovery of the germ of swine-plague. Science. 1884;3:1558. DOIPubMed
  5. Su  LH, Chiu  CH. Salmonella: clinical importance and evolution of nomenclature. Chang Gung Med J. 2007;30:2109.PubMed

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2612.et2612

Original Publication Date: November 16, 2020

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Table of Contents – Volume 26, Number 12—December 2020

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Daniel F. M. Monte, Department of Food and Experimental Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo-SP 05508-900, Brazil

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Page created: November 16, 2020 10:50 AM EST
Page updated: November 25, 2020 7:51 AM EST
Page reviewed: November 25, 2020 7:51 AM EST
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