Salmonella and causes of gastroenteritis

Blast Report The case study I received was about a family of four that was experiencing symptoms of fever, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. The children were affected more severely than the adults. It seems that the family consumed spoiled food considering that their fridge broke early in the day and they ate the food that was in there later on. My blast came up with a 99. 6% match with Salmonella typhimurium. This seems to be an accurate match considering the symptoms related with a Salmonella typhimurium infection.

Salmonella causes gastroenteritis with symptoms f diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain with elderly people, children and pregnant women being at greatest risk of developing infection. This is consistent with the family’s children having more severe symptoms. Symptoms typically last two to five days. S. typhimurium causes infection by invading the intestinal mucosa and multiplying in specialized vacuoles and then invading the liver and spleen where it causes systematic disease. S. typhimurium enters the host orally through spoiled or undercooked meat and the incubation period is about 12 to 24 hours.

It can also be transmitted through the fecal matter or contaminated water which can easily happen in poorly developed countries with poor waste management. Infection of S. typhimurium is highest in countries with poor sanitation but it can occur in any part of the world. The infection should clear up on its own for healthy individuals with access to clean water and food but if the infection spreads to the bloodstream, antibiotics will need to be taken. Transmission can be easily prevented by properly handling and cooking food, and by washing hands often.

Since this family is therwise healthy and has access to clean food and water, they should be fine within a few days with no need for antibiotics. S. typhimurium is a rod shaped gram-negative bacterium. It is a facultative anaerobe so it does not require oxygen to survive. It is also motile via use of flagella. Unlike most Salmonella species, S. typhimurium does not ferment lactose. The citation I selected discusses the effect of the addition of nisin to current Salmonella antibiotics. Overuse and abuse of antibiotics has lead to a serious ongoing problem of antibiotic resistance.