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December 1973

Permanent Carriers of Nontyphosa Salmonellae

Author Affiliations

Houston; Boston

From the Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease Section, Baylor College of Medicine and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Houston (Dr. Musher), and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass (Dr. Rubenstein).

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(6):869-872. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650120071013

Fifty-four permanent carriers of strains of Salmonella other than S typhosa were discovered in Massachusetts between 1935 and 1969. The number of carriers discovered each year has remained the same despite a steady increase in reports of salmonellosis, probably due to less careful follow-up of patients with acute infections. Ten carriers, most of whom were asymptomatic, were implicated in outbreaks of salmonellosis; continued Salmonella surveillance may be indicated at least for food handlers and medical personnel. Orally administered antibiotics were uniformly unsuccessful in curing the carrier state. Cholecystectomy, combined with antibiotic treatment, cured 5 of 12 subjects. Therapeutic failure may result from sequestration of salmonellae outside the gallbladder and in structures to which antibiotics have limited access.