The last decade has witnessed increasing research on dissemination of bacterial pathogens in their hosts and on the processes that underlie bacterial spread and growth during organ colonization. Here, we discuss work on the mouse model of human typhoid fever caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. This has revealed the use of several routes of systemic dissemination that result in colonization and growth within the spleen and liver, the major sites of bacterial proliferation. We also highlight techniques that enable in vivo analysis of the infecting population at the spatiotemporal and single cell levels. These approaches have provided more detailed insights into the events underlying the dynamics of Salmonella replication, spread and clearance within host organs and tissues.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.