Salmonellosis history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Jolanta Marszalek, M.D. [2] João André Alves Silva, M.D. [3]


Patients with Salmonellosis typically present with acute bloody or non-bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.[1] A detailed clinical history should include recent food ingestion, recent travel, and contact with family members and friends with similar symptoms. [2]


The initial evaluation of the patient should assess the severity of the disease and the need for rehydrationand include detailed history taking in order to identify the likely cause of the disease.[2] A detailed history particularly of the 72 hours prior to the presentation is essential for diagnosis. Inquiries should be made regarding:[2]

  • Recent travel history
  • Presence of similar symptoms among close contacts
  • Details of recent meals
  • Visits to farms or zoos
  • Contact with pets, rodents, reptiles
  • Occupation
  • Recent antibiotic use
  • Day-care attendance
  • Medication

If the patient is a child or is unable to communicate, then this information should be obtained from the family member or person accompanying the patient.[2][3]

Common Symptoms[edit]

Symptoms of salmonellosis are often indistinguishable from those caused by other pathogens. Symptoms usually have an acute onset and include:[1]

In children, infection is associated with longer duration as well as increased frequency of bloody diarrhea.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Coburn B, Grassl GA, Finlay BB (2007). "Salmonella, the host and disease: a brief review". Immunol Cell Biol. 85 (2): 112–8. doi:10.1038/sj.icb.7100007. PMID 17146467.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Thielman NM, Guerrant RL (2004). "Clinical practice. Acute infectious diarrhea". N Engl J Med. 350 (1): 38–47. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp031534. PMID 14702426.
  3. Choi SW, Park CH, Silva TM, Zaenker EI, Guerrant RL (1996). "To culture or not to culture: fecal lactoferrin screening for inflammatory bacterial diarrhea". J Clin Microbiol. 34 (4): 928–32. PMC 228919. PMID 8815110.

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