Systemic infections by Salmonella enterica, such as typhoid fever, are a significant threat to human health. Recent studies indicate that the function of a type III secretion system encoded by Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 2 (SPI2) is central for the ability of S. enterica to cause systemic infections and for intracellular pathogenesis. This review summarizes approaches leading to the identification of SPI2, the molecular genetics and evolution of SPI2, and the current understanding of the regulation of gene expression. Recent studies have indicated that SPI2 is used by intracellular Salmonella to actively modify functions of the host cells. The role of SPI2 during pathogenesis of salmonellosis and current models regarding function will be discussed.