Salmonella species are facultative intracellular pathogenic bacteria. They can invade macrophages, dendritic and epithelial cells. The responsible virulence genes for invasion, survival, and extraintestinal spread are located in Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPIs). SPIs are thought to be acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Some of the SPIs are conserved throughout the Salmonella genus, and some of them are specific for certain serovars. There are differences between Salmonella serotypes in terms of adaptation to host cell, virulence factors and the resulting infection according to SPA presence and characteristics. The most important Salmonella virulence gene clusters are located in 12 pathogenicity islands. Virulence genes that are involved in the intestinal phase of infection are located in SPI-1 and SPI-2 and the remaining SPIs are required for intracellular survival, fimbrial expression, magnesium and iron uptake, multiple antibiotic resistance and the development of systemic infections. In addition SPIs, Sigma sigma(s) (RpoS) factors and adaptive acid tolerance response (ATR) are the other two important virulence factors. RpoS and ATR found in virulent Salmonella strains help the bacteria to survive under inappropriate conditions such as gastric acidity, bile salts, inadequate oxygen concentration, lack of nutrients, antimicrobial peptides, mucus and natural microbiota and also to live in phagosomes or phagolysosomes. This review article summarizes the data related to pathogenicity islands in Salmonella serotypes and some factors which play role in the regulation of virulence genes.