Characteristics of Salmonella Typhi Bacteria

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  • 0:00 Definition of Salmonella Typhi
  • 1:30 Symptoms and Treatments
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brekke Peterson Munks
Did you know that there is more than one kind of Salmonella? In this lesson, you will explore the physical and pathogenic characteristics of Salmonella typhi.

Definition of Salmonella Typhi

We always hear, wash your hands after you touch meat, use the restroom, or if you are in a dirty place. For safety reasons, we are told not to drink ocean water or water in which people swim in or might have sewage sludge. But why do we do this? We do this to ward off infection from Salmonella typhi.

Salmonella typhi is bacteria that causes typhoid fever and has a rod-shaped conformation and is aerobic. Aerobic organisms are living things that require oxygen to survive. This bacteria is also Gram-negative, meaning that it has a three-layer cell membrane, essentially. The first layer is the outer membrane, in the center is a thin peptidoglycan layer followed be an inner plasma membrane. The thin peptidoglycan layer is characteristic of all Gram-negative bacteria. The bacterial cell Salmonella typhi is a motile bacteria and is able to move due to flagella. A flagella is a special organelle on the outside of the bacteria that looks like an eyelash or the tail of a sperm. However, this eyelash is able to whip around creating locomotion, propelling the Salmonella typhi around.

Salmonella typhi is a serovar of Salmonella enterica. A serovar is a microbe that is very similar to other Salmonella enterica bacteria, but each serovar has distinct differences that cause our immune system to react differently to the bacteria. In terms of Salmonella serovars, different cell surface antigens make up the serovar signature that is specific to each type. An antigen is simply the receptor on the outside of the cell that causes a certain immune response.

Symptoms and Treatments

As mentioned earlier, ff you ever are diagnosed with typhoid fever, you have an S. typhi infection. This disease affects over 17 million people annually and can cause around a half a million deaths each year. It is caused by this little bacterium S. typhi, which only lives in humans.

This bacterium infects the liver, spleen, small intestines and the blood stream of humans causing typhoid fever. Africa, Asia and Latin American are regions prevalent to typhoid outbreak. Individuals with infection typically suffer from a quick onset of fever. This increased body temperature is followed by nausea, a painful headache and a reduction in appetite. If gone untreated, other symptoms of enlarged spleen and dehydration can occur.

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