Persistent infection and long-term carriage of typhoidal and nontyphoidal salmonellae

Ohad Gal-Mor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The ability of pathogenic bacteria to affect higher organisms and cause disease is one of the most dramatic properties of microorganisms. Some pathogens can establish transient colonization only, but others are capable of infecting their host for many years or even for a lifetime. Long-term infection is called persistence, and this phenotype is fundamental for the biology of important human pathogens, including Helicobacter pylori, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Salmonella enterica. Both typhoidal and nontyphoidal serovars of the species Salmonella enterica can cause persistent infection in humans; however, as these two Salmonella groups cause clinically distinct diseases, the characteristics of their persistent infections in humans differ significantly. Here, following a general summary of Salmonella pathogenicity, host specificity, epidemiology, and laboratory diagnosis, I review the current knowledge about Salmonella persistence and discuss the relevant epidemiology of persistence (including carrier rate, duration of shedding, and host and pathogen risk factors), the host response to Salmonella persistence, Salmonella genes involved in this lifestyle, as well as genetic and phenotypic changes acquired during prolonged infection within the host. Additionally, I highlight differences between the persistence of ty-phoidal and nontyphoidal Salmonella strains in humans and summarize the current gaps and limitations in our understanding, diagnosis, and curing of persistent Salmonella infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00088-18
JournalClinical Microbiology Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


FundersFunder number
Infect-Era/Chief Scientist Ministry of Health2616/18, I-41-416.6-2017
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development
Israel Science Foundation3-12435, 999/14


    • Bacterial evolution
    • Enteric pathogens
    • Gene regulation
    • Host-pathogen interaction
    • Immunopathogenesis
    • Pathogenicity islands
    • Persistence
    • Salmonella enterica
    • Virulence


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