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Hi, my name is Salmonella typhi and I am a lot of fun!

I am a strain of the species Salmonella enterica, along with another 2000 strains. But out of all of us, I am definitely the best at what I do. See, I like to cause a wicked disease in humans known as typhoid fever.

I like to infect people via the fecal-oral route. I am ingested in food or water which is contaminated with the waste of infected people. Travellers like to catch me by not taking care of what they eat or drink when on holiday.

Once in the body, I multiply in the blood and all the fun starts. A fever of 104°F, severe sweating, stomach pain and diarrhea. The diarrhea looks and smells pretty too - a bit like pea soup really. I can only live in humans so it's really important for my species' survival that I make sure I spread to as many people as possible. That means causing my sufferers to produce as much infectious diarrhea as possible. Of course, that means that dehydration is a massive problem in my victims as they lose so much water.

I kill up to 30% of those infected if not treated, but antibiotics reduce my fatality rates to 1%. I am particularly keen on the developing world, and infect 21.5 million people a year. Just imagine how much diarrhea that is! Some people can carry me without any symptoms and spread me to others. Typhoid Mary was the most famous carrier of my kind. She was a cook who infected nearly 50 people yet still refused to admit that she was responsible for their illnesses and deaths.

S. enterica Typhimurium colonies on an agar plate http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salmonella_enterica_serovar_typhimurium_01.jpg






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About Bacteria
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Inside the bacterial cell

The Good Guys
Escherichia coli
Bacillus subtilis

The Bad Boys
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Black death
Porphyromonas gingivalis
Chlamydia trachomatis
Salmonella typhi
Treponema pallidum
Proteus mirabilis
Streptococcus pyogenes
Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Helicobacter pylori
Mycobacterium leprae

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