SUMMARY Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a subset of innate T lymphocytes activated by bacteria that produce vitamin B2 metabolites. Mouse models of infection have demonstrated a role for MAIT cells in antimicrobial defence. However, proposed protective roles of MAIT cells in human infections remain unproven and clinical conditions associated with a selective absence of MAIT cells have not been identified. We report that typhoidal and non-typhoidal S. enterica strains generally activate MAIT cells. However, African invasive disease-associated multidrug-resistant S. Typhimurium sequence type 313 lineage 2 strains escape MAIT cell recognition through overexpression of ribB , a bacterial gene that encodes the 4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase enzyme of the riboflavin biosynthetic pathway. This MAIT cell-specific phenotype did not extend to other innate lymphocytes. We propose that ribB overexpression is an evolved trait that facilitates evasion from immune recognition by MAIT cells and contributes to the invasive pathogenesis of S. Typhimurium sequence type 313 lineage 2 in vivo .