Recent Study Shows How Exposure To Non-Typhoidal Salmonella is Associated With Colon Cancer

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Dr Bucho

Recent Study Shows How Exposure To Non-Typhoidal Salmonella is Associated With Colon Cancer, According to a recent study published on cell Reports Medicine, Humans who have salmonella in their system often experience digestive problems. The disease-causing bacteria normally reside in animals, but humans can contract the infection through tainted meats or water. According to the study, which was written up in Cell Reports Medicine, colon tumours expanded and progressed more quickly when exposed to salmonella.

Non-Typhoidal Salmonella is Associated With Colon Cancer
Image Credit: Marler Clark

Introduction From The Journal

Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica is a Gram-negative bacterium with more than 2,500 distinct serovars that can occasionally produce invasive infections with varying degrees of severity and gastrointestinal illness. Two groupings are frequently used to categorise these serovars. The severe systemic disorders typhoid or paratyphoid fever can be brought on by human-restricted typhoidal serovars (i.e., Typhi and Paratyphi).

The non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars can colonise a wide range of animals asymptomatically and typically cause gastroenteritis in humans. Enteritidis and Typhimurium are two of the most prevalent NTS serovars in clinical patients. Since S. Typhi and Paratyphi are mostly spread through feces-to-oral contact, the majority of cases of (para)typhoid fever occur in densely populated areas without access to better sanitation. On the other hand, NTS infections happen everywhere, are widespread in modern nations, and are mostly spread from animals to people by food, direct animal contact, or indirectly through the environment.

Highlights Of the Study

  • Patients who are expected to be diagnosed with colon cancer have a higher rate of Salmonella seroincidence that is not related to typhoid fever.
  • Consistent low-level exposure to non-typhoidal Salmonella raises the risk of colon cancer.
  • Repeated non-typhoidal Salmonella infection accelerates the development of cancer.

Study Analysis Showing How Non-Typhoidal Salmonella is Associated With Colon Cancer

The authors of the study first assessed information from a previous retrospective analysis of Netherland based colon cancer patients. In a previous study, it was discovered that patients whose tissue samples from colon operations revealed salmonella antibodies tended to experience worse colon cancer outcomes. Salmonella strains that had been identified from colon cancer tissue samples in mice that had previously been exposed to the germs were subsequently used by the researchers. They discovered that animals repeatedly exposed to low levels of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) exhibited similar accelerated tumour growth to that seen following high NTS exposure. The researchers observed accelerated tumour growth in mice exposed to salmonella, as well as an increased rate of salmonella translocation to the tumour.

The study’s lead author, Jun Sun, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Medicine Gastroenterology and Hepatology, noted that the results show a need for additional investigation into the relationship between salmonella exposure and colon cancer risk in the United States. He described how crucial host signalling pathways are hijacked by salmonella during infection, and how these molecular alterations may result in neoplastic transformation.

Limitations Of the Study

  • There are no data relating serum sample to CC diagnosis. The presumption is that exposure to Salmonella does not change much over time. The interval between a pre-transformed colon cell’s Salmonella infection and the diagnosis of CC is unknown.
  • The molecular mechanism of cell transformation following Salmonella infection is not currently fully understood, which is why the direct measurement of genetic or epigenetic modifications is not performed
  • Old Cell transformation model with fibroblasts forming colonies in soft agar , This outdated Model of cancer development enables the measurement of cellular behaviour changes but does not directly track molecular alterations.


In conclusion, the study has shown that there is a connection between exposure to salmonella and an elevated risk of colon cancer. The authors of the study analysed data from a previous retrospective study of colon cancer patients in the Netherlands and discovered that those patients often had worse colon cancer outcomes when salmonella antibodies were discovered in tissue samples collected before colon operations. The scientists then started using salmonella strains that were isolated from colon cancer tissue samples in mice that had also been exposed to the bacteria, and they discovered that repeatedly infecting mice with low non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) exposure resulted in tumour growth that was similarly accelerated to that seen after high NTS exposure.

Although the study found a connection between salmonella exposure and colon cancer, it does not indicate that salmonella is the direct cause of colon cancer, which is crucial to emphasise. To completely comprehend the connection between the two, more investigation is required.

Leading Author

Jun Sun, PhD, Corresponding Author from Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Department of Microbiology/Immunology, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Disclaimer: This article may contain excerpts from the original source, but it is intended for informational purposes only and is published under a common creative license. The information provided in this article should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The authors and publishers of this article take no responsibility for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of the information contained herein.

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