Salmonella Food Poisoning May Have Permanent and Unwanted Effects on the DNA


People suffering from salmonella often have a fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The disease often lasts for four to seven days and most people recover from it even without medical treatment.

Some Salmonella Serotypes May lead to DNA Damage Findings of a new study carried out by food scientists from Cornell University, noticed that some serotypes, or variations of salmonella species, may have permanent unwanted effects like they can permanently damage the DNA.

The Recent study, which was published in the journal mBio in December 2016, Cornell University researchers Rachel Miller and Martin Wiedmann examined several serotypes of salmonella that encode for cytolethal distending toxin (S-CDT), a virulence component for the serotype which causes typhoid fever.

The experts figured out four salmonella serotypes that result in foodborne illness also carry the genetic material that encodes S-CDT. There are more than 2,500 salmonella serotypes, but only less than 100 are responsible for foodborne illnesses.

With the help of human cells grown in the laboratory, the researchers also noticed the salmonella strains with S-CDT which provides a hint of the DNA damage. The researchers claimed that this DNA damage may have long-term effects.

Salmonella Infection Can Be Deadly

Estimated count from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control And Prevention says that about 1.2 million non-typhoidal salmonella illnesses and 450 deaths are recorded every year in the United States due to salmonella.

Most of the people who get infected with salmonella recover easily but there are individuals who are more vulnerable to unwanted effects of the illness. Among these individuals, many people have existing health conditions and weak immune system.

In 2015, an outbreak of the disease was recorded due to salmonella-tainted cucumbers that were sold in the United States and this proved fatal. The second fatal case reported, a woman from Texas, who was already suffering from other serious illnesses prior to infection, but tests shown that salmonella the main reason for her death.