Antibiotic-resistant strains of typhoid are spreading from South Asia

(ORDO NEWS) — Antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella Typhi, the bacteria that cause typhoid fever, were first reported in South Asia in 1990.

Since then, about 200 times resistant strains have spread outside the region, according to a new study by an international team of scientists led by Stanford University. Today they pose a threat not only to South Asia, but to the entire world.

Typhus seems to be a disease from the distant past. But no. She again appears dangerous and can cause epidemics

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 11 million and 20 million people fall ill with typhoid each year, with between 128,000 and 161,000 deaths.

Typhoid fever is spread through water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. It is spread by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi . Symptoms of the disease include prolonged fever, nausea, rash, headache, and diarrhea or constipation.

“FROM. Typhi can only infect humans, and by looking at how closely related the bacteria found in different places are, we found that typhoid fever has spread many times from South Asia, the birthplace of typhoid fever, to many parts of the world,” says Gagandeep Kang, co-author of a new study published in The Lancet.

Kang says , “Despite improvements in water supply and sanitation in South Asia, antibiotic-resistant strains of S. Typhi are dangerous and we must try to control them by reducing the misuse of antibiotics, improving the availability of diagnostics, and introducing effective typhoid conjugate vaccines.”

Antibiotic resistant strains of typhoid are spreading from South Asia 2
Undisinfected water systems can spread typhoid fever

Antibiotic-resistant strains bring back the danger of epidemics

The study analyzed the largest collection of sequenced S. Typhi data. 3489 whole genomes of S. Typhi were sequenced from 2014 to 2019 in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

It also sequenced 4,169 S. Typhi samples from over 70 countries between 1905 and 2018. A total of 7500 genomes have been sequenced. Scientists have identified the genes that give bacteria resistance to antibiotics.

Globally, 70% of typhoid cases occur in South Asia, followed by sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. But cases have been reported in East and South Africa, Canada, the UK and the US.

Since 2000, the number of multidrug-resistant strains of S. Typhi has steadily declined in Bangladesh and India and has remained low in Nepal.

But in Pakistan after 2016, the incidence started to rise again. The study says fluoroquinolones, the primary treatment for typhoid in the 1990s, had become ineffective by the 2010s.

And in 2016, an outbreak of S. Typhi, resistant to fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins, occurred in Pakistan.

In 2021, several strains of S. Typhi were found to have developed resistance to azithromycin, compromising the effectiveness of all oral antimicrobials for the treatment of typhoid fever.

An international team of researchers funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation say their findings highlight the need for research and development of treatments for drug-resistant typhoid fever as a global problem.

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