Antibiotic Resistant Typhoid Superbug Spreads Worldwide

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A new strain of Typhoid fever which is resistant to most of the commonly used Antibiotics is spreading worldwide and becoming an epidemic, according to a large study done by a team of scientists.

in this Phylogeographical analysis scientists analysed 1,832 samples of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) from many countries around the globe and they has found that 47 per cent from those instances were from this multidrug-resistant H58 strain.

Typhoid is contracted by drinking or eating contaminated matter and symptoms include nausea, fever, abdominal pain and pink spots on the chest. Untreated, the disease can lead to complications in the gut and head, which may prove fatal in up to 20 per cent of patients.

US Navy Hospitalman Faith Huffman prepares a typhoid shot in the medical clinic
US Navy Hospitalman Faith Huffman prepares a typhoid shot in the medical clinic (By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Kristopher Wilson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Vaccines are available — although, due to limited cost effectiveness, not widely used in poorer countries — and regular strains of the infection can be treated with antibiotic drugs. However, this study found that the H58 “superbug” version, which is resistant to multiple types of antibiotics, is now becoming dominant.

The H58 Strain which emerged 25, 30 years back in South Asia has now spread to other continents including West and South Eastern Asia, and Africa. So the scientists say that this has now become an epidemic.

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics and available online since 11th May, (See the research article here)