Salmonellae are predominately Gram-negative, motile, rod-shaped bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family. There are currently more than 2500 known serotypes, which form a genus together with the two species Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori.

Salmonellae can cause various diseases:

  • Gastroenteritis, also known as Salmonella enteritis or salmonellosis (caused by Salmonella enteritis)

  • Typhoid fever (caused by Salmonella typhi) and paratyphoid fever (caused by Salmonella paratyphi)

Various species of animal (domestic, farm, and wild animals) and humans act as salmonella reservoirs.

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: Very high

  • Pulmonology: Not relevant

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Not relevant

  • Urology: Not relevant

Relevance for endoscope processing

  • High concern organism

Transmission route

Salmonellae are transmitted via the fecal–oral route and via contaminated food and water.

Resistance to antibiotics

The resistance of salmonellae to important antibiotics is increasing. Salmonella typhi is resistant to numerous antibiotics, including penicillins and 2nd generation quinolones. Resistance to 2nd generation quinolones, among other antibiotics, has been observed for Salmonella paratyphi. Enteric salmonellae are resistant to penicillins and 3rd generation cephalosporins with high regional variability.

Sources and further readings

  1. Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States 2019, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta 2019, Accessed on 04.22.2021.

  2. Duodenoscope Surveillance Sampling & Culturing, Reducing the Risks of Infection, Department of Health and Human Services Collaboration, 2018, Accessed on 04.22.2021.

  3. Facts about salmonellosis, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Accessed on 04.22.2021.

  4. Gries O, Ly T: Infektologie – Kompendium humanpathogener Infektionskrankheiten und Erreger, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2019.

  5. Salmonella, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed on 04.22.2021.

  6. Salmonella (non-typhoidal), World Health Organization, Accessed on 04.22.2021.

  7. Salmonellose, RKI-Ratgeber, Robert Koch-Institut,;jsessionid=848B70447934F10212660D3D8FE7451C.internet062#doc2374560bodyText2. Accessed on 04.22.2021.