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Build a bug activity. Introduction to Salmonella. What is a pathogen?. A pathogen is a disease causing agent. Fungus. Bacteria. Protozoa. Virus. Images: Janice Carr; CDC/Dr. Godon Roberstad; Wellcome Images; Anna Tanczos, Wellcome Images. Question.

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Build a bug activity

Build a bug activity

Introduction to Salmonella

What is a pathogen
What is a pathogen?

  • A pathogen is a disease causing agent





Images: Janice Carr; CDC/Dr. Godon Roberstad; Wellcome Images; Anna Tanczos, Wellcome Images


Can you name a disease caused by bacteria?

Bacteria features
Bacteria features

Image: Genome Research Limited


  • Salmonella infections can be transmitted between humans and animals. Infection via food is also possible.

  • This activity focuses on two types of Salmonella that cause two distinctive diseases:

    • gastroenteritis Salmonella

    • typhoid Salmonella.

Image: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The genus: Salmonella

Defined by biochemistry

Defined by disease syndrome

Affects Humans, cows & lizards

Affects Humans only

What s the difference
What’s the difference?



Human specific

Typhoid fever (systemic)

1 – 3 week incubation


Slow progressive fever (up to 40oC), sweating , abdominal pain.

If left untreated can lead to intestinal haemorrhage or perforation.

601 unique genes

  • Generalist

  • Food poisoning / gastroenteritis (localised)

  • 6 – 24 hour incubation

  • Symptoms

    • Diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal cramps

  • Zoonosis

  • 479 unique genes

Image: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance

Around the world, more drug resistance isolates of Salmonella Typhi are being found.

Images: Genome Research Limited

How does resistance occur
How does resistance occur?

  • Use of antibiotics creates a selective pressure.

  • Only bacteria with genes that confer resistance can survive a treatment of antibiotics.

  • Eventually they can make up the whole population.

Population after antibiotics

Before antibiotics

Add antibiotics

Horizontal transfer
Horizontal transfer

  • New antibiotic genes can be acquired via horizontal transfer or conjugation.

Images: Genome Research Limited

New multi drug resistant salmonella typhimurium
New multi-drug resistant Salmonella Typhimurium

  • A new multi drug resistant strain of Salmonella Typhimurium is emerging in Sub Saharan Africa.

  • Sequencing the genome of the bacteria revealed important information about the biology of the organism.

Image: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Hear from the leading scientist on the research programme

The activity
The Activity

  • Research and assemble a Salmonella bacterial genome.

  • Use the information resources to research key genetic components which determine the bacteria’s disease causing ability.

  • Use modelling clay to create your bacterial genome.

Assemble a genome
Assemble a genome

  • Using modelling clay or the paper genome provided assemble three key genetic components on a chromosome backbone for either:

    • Salmonella Typhi or

    • Salmonella Typhimurium.

Feed back your results
Feed back your results

  • Add your results to the class spreadsheet or results table.