So similar, yet so different: uncovering distinctive features in the genomes of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium and Typhi


  • Editor: Ian Henderson

Correspondence: France Daigle, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Montreal, C.P. 6128 Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7. Tel.: +1514 343 7396; fax: +1514 343 5701; e-mail:


Salmonella enterica represents a major human and animal pathogen. Many S. enterica genomes have been completed and many more genome sequencing projects are underway, constituting an excellent resource for comparative genome analysis studies leading to a better understanding of bacterial evolution and pathogenesis. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Typhi are the best-characterized serovars, with the first being involved in localized gastroenteritis in many hosts and the latter causing a systemic human-specific disease. Here, we summarize the major genetic differences between the two different serovars. We detail the divergent repertoires of the virulence factors responsible for the pathogenesis of the organisms and that ultimately result in the distinct clinical outcomes of infection. This comparative genomic overview highlights hypotheses for future investigations on S. enterica pathogenesis and the basis of host specificity.