Why do we get sick from salmonella poisoning?

Our stomachs are supposed to be near-invincable, right? Even HIV isn’t a threat to it since we can (supposedly) safely swallow infected fluids. So how come we can get sick from eating undercooked meat?

Is that type of bacteria unharmed by digestive juices or is food poisoning a reaction to the chemicals created from the digestion of that bacteria?

  1. Some Salmonella organisms survive the passage through the stomach & exposure to acid. They replicate & attach themselves to a more comfy area of the intestinal mucosa (lining).

  2. The bugs themselves do not make you sick; rather a toxin they secrete causes virtually all of of the symptoms. Salmonella typhi actually causes 2 distinct syndromes - one is dysentery/salmonellosis; the other is typhoid fever, where the bacteria are actually in the bloodstream.

  3. Some people can get infected & continually shed bacteria in their feces without becoming ill themselves. Ever hear of typhoid Mary?

  4. I wouldn’t voluntarily swallow HIV-containing secretions. A mouth is lined with the same mucosal-type surface as the rectum & vagina.

Sue from El Paso