The genus Salmonella was named after Daniel Elmer Salmon, an American veterinary pathologist. While Theobald Smith was the actual discoverer of the type bacterium (''Salmonella enterica'' var. Choleraesuis) in 1885, Dr. Salmon was the administrator of the USDA research program, and thus the organism was named after him. Smith and Salmon had been searching for the cause of common hog cholera and proposed this organism as the causal agent.
Later research, however, would show that this organism (now known as Salmonella enterica) rarely causes enteric symptoms in pigs, and was thus not the agent they were seeking (which was eventually shown to be a virus). However, related bacteria in the genus Salmonella were eventually shown to cause other important infectious diseases.
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