Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which project in all directions (i.e. peritrichous). They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction reactions using organic sources and are facultative anaerobes; most species produce hydrogen sulfide, which can readily be detected by growing them on media containing ferrous sulfate, such as TSI. Most isolates exist in two phases; phase I is the motile phase and phase II the non-motile phase. Cultures that are non-motile upon primary culture may be swithched to the motile phase using a Craigie tube.
Salmonella are closely related to the Escherichia genus and are found worldwide in warm- and cold-blooded animals, in humans, and in nonliving habitats. They cause illnesses in humans and many animals, such as typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and the foodborne illness salmonellosis.
Salmonella is named for pathologist D.E. Salmon.