Infections with Salmonella enterica serovars remain a serious problem worldwide. While serovar Typhi causes significant morbidity and mortality that is restricted to humans, serovar Typhimurium causes gastroenteritidis in humans and can also infect other animals. As mice with the susceptible Nramp1 locus get systemic infection with serovar Typhimurium, murine infection models using this serovar have been widely used to decipher the immune mechanisms required to survive systemic Salmonella infection. This review summarizes recent studies in murine infection models that have advanced our understanding of the events that occur during the first days after oral Salmonella infection. The pathways of bacterial penetration across the intestinal epithelium, bacterial spread to draining (mesenteric) lymph nodes and dissemination to systemic tissues is discussed. The response of myeloid cell populations, including dendritic cells, inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, during the early stage of infection is also discussed. Finally, the mechanisms driving recruitment of myeloid cells to infected intestinal lymphoid tissues and what is known about Toll-like receptor signaling pathways in innate immunity to Salmonella infection is also discussed.

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