Salmonella enterica is a facultative intracellular pathogen of worldwide importance and causes a spectrum of diseases depending on serovar- and host-specific factors. Oral infection of pigs with S. enterica serovar Typhimurium strain 4/74 produces acute enteritis but is rarely fatal, whereas serovar Choleraesuis strain A50 causes systemic disease with a high mortality rate. With a porcine ligated ileal loop model, we observed that systemic virulence of serovar Choleraesuis A50 is not associated with enhanced intestinal invasion, secretory responses, or neutrophill recruitment compared to serovar Typhimurium 4/74. The net growth in vivo of serovar Choleraesuis A50 and serovar Typhimurium 4/74 was monitored following oral inoculation of pigs with strains harboring pHSG422, which exhibits temperature-sensitive replication. Analysis of plasmid partitioning revealed that the enteric virulence of serovar Typhimurium 4/74 relative to that of serovar Choleraesuis A50 is associated with rapid replication in the intestinal wall, whereas systemic virulence of serovar Choleraesuis A50 is associated with enhanced persistence in intestinal mesenteric lymph nodes. Faster replication of serovar Typhimurium, compared to that of serovar Choleraesuis, in the intestinal mucosa was associated with greater induction of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and IL-18 as detected by reverse transcriptase PCR analysis of transcripts from infected mucosa. During replication in batch culture and porcine alveolar macrophages, transcription of genes encoding components of type III secretion systems 1 (sipC) and 2 (sseC) was observed to be significantly higher in serovar Typhimurium 4/74 than in serovar Choleraesuis A50, and this may contribute to the differences in epitheliall invasion and intracellular proliferation. The rapid induction of proinflammatory responses by strain 4/74 may explain why pigs confine serovar Typhimurium infection to the intestines, whereas slow replication of serovar Choleraesuis may enable it to evade host innate immunity and thus disseminate by stealth.