The addition of 5 mg of streptomycin sulfate per ml to the drinking water of Swiss white mice resulted in a 100,000-fold reduction in the 50% implantation dose of streptomycin-resistant Salmonella typhimurium for the animals. When streptomycin-treated and untreated mice were challenged orogastrically with 10(3) viable S. typhimurium organisms, 100% of the treated and none of the untreated mice excreted the pathogen in their feces. Similarly, translocation of S. typhimurium from the intestinal tract to the liver, spleen, and mesentery occurred in 10 of 10 treated mice but in none of the untreated mice 7 days after challenge with 10(3) CFU. Studies of colonization dynamics showed that S. typhimurium was present at high population levels in the intestines of streptomycin-treated mice and in detectable levels in the liver, spleen, and mesentery within 72 h after challenge with 10(3), 10(5), or 10(8) organisms. In untreated mice challenged with either 10(3) or 10(5) S. typhimurium organisms, the organisms were isolated from ileal and cecal tissues but not from ileal or cecal contents or from extraintestinal tissue 72 h after challenge. When untreated mice were challenged with 10(8) organisms, however, S. typhimurium was present in all organs and in intestinal contents. Streptomycin treatment, therefore, facilitated colonization and development of streptomycin-resistant S. typhimurium populations in intestines of mice and the subsequent translocation of the organisms from the intestinal tract to other tissues.