Understanding Salmonella Bacteria

Understanding Salmonella Bacteria

What is Salmonella infection

Salmonella is a genus of bacteria that can inhabit the intestines of many different animals.

While Salmonellosis is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella.

There are many different types of Salmonella called serotypes. Scientists categorize each serotype from the characteristics on the bacteria’s surface. Some Salmonella serotypes can be found on only one type of animal or in only one place while others are found in all animals in the across the world. Different strains of Salmonella can cause foodborne illness in different ways. Some serotypes can inflict severe illness upon people while others inflict milder illness.

Salmonellosis can cause gastroenteritis. Salmonella produced by contaminated food can cause this infective illness. Salmonellosis is usually a self-limited disease, with symptoms lasting from three to five days in otherwise healthy people. More severe cases of the infection can lead to chronic arthritis and rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages). In very rare cases, salmonellosis may cause typhoid fever or fowl typhoid, which are more serious illnesses that are usually contracted through direct contact with infected faeces.

Salmonella in Humans

Can Salmonella infection humans

Humans can also be infected by Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella often causes gastroenteritis, which can be mild to severe in humans.

Symptoms in humans start from 6 hours to 6 days after ingesting the bacteria and include:

Most people recover from salmonella without the aid of medical treatments, on average over 4 to 7 days. Sometimes the symptoms including diarrhea maybe so severe, that it is best hospitalized for hospital treatment.

How People Become Infected

Salmonella is capable of spreading to other people, objects, and surfaces.

Humans can become infected with Salmonella by the following

  • Dairy products including Milk
  • Handling contaminated food
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Raw or undercooked
    • Meat
    • Poultry
    • Eggs and egg products

What Humans Are At High Risk of Salmonella Infection

Salmonella is a common sickness in humans and can happen to anyone, however the following category groups are higher risk.

  • 5 years of age and younger children and infants
  • or adults aged 65 and older.
  • People with weakened immune systems
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Organ transplant patients
    • Chemotherapy patients
Salmonella Bacteria Illustration
Salmonella Bacteria Illustration

Salmonella In Pets

If you’re a pet owner, you should know about the common symptoms of Salmonella infection in dogs and what to do if your pet has been tested positive for this disease.

The most common animals that spread Salmonella to humans are chickens, turkeys, and other poultry.

Other animals known to contract salmonellosis from humans includes

  • Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Farm animals
  • Horses
  • Other small mammals
  • Poultry
  • Reptiles
  • Rodents

How Do Pets Become Infected

Animals become infected with Salmonella through their environment, by eating contaminated food, or from direct contact with other infected animals.

Animals with Salmonella shed the bacteria in their stool which can easily contaminate their body parts and in areas where these animals are living.

It is essential to know that many animals are Salmonella carriers and can still appear healthy and fine.

Symptoms in Pets

Your pets may experience one or many of the issues below

  • Decreased activity level
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

How Can Salmonella Infections Be Diagnosed and Treated?


Salmonella infections usually resolve within seven days. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids and avoid dairy products during this time. If you have diarrhoea that won’t go away, seek medical attention. Doctors can help to rehydrate you and perform lab tests to determine if Salmonella is the root cause of your illness.


If you suspect that your pet has salmonella, see a veterinarian. Salmonella infections may require urgent care with support and fluids in a vet. If your pet is sick, they might need to be treated with antibiotics or hospitalized at a veterinary clinic.

Pet Food Recalls

Pet food recalls are more frequent than one may think. One of the most common reasons are due to Salmonella Contamination.

Please see Pet Food Recalls due to Salmonella Contamination

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