The bacteria-phagocyte interaction is of central importance in Salmonella pathogenesis. Immediately following phagocytosis, the NADPH phagocyte oxidase complex assembles in vesicles and produces highly toxic reactive oxygen species that play a major role in initial Salmonella killing by phagocytes. However, Salmonella has evolved a number of strategies to reduce the efficacy of oxygen-dependent phagocyte antimicrobial systems. Some of these strategies, such as superoxide dismutases, hydroperoxidases, oxidoreductases, scavengers and repair systems are common to most aerobic bacteria. In addition, Salmonella has acquired, by horizontal gene transfer, a type III secretory system encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 that interferes with the trafficking of vesicles containing functional NADPH phagocyte oxidase to the phagosome, thereby enhancing the survival of Salmonella within macrophages.