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Typhoid gains extra DNA

Wednesday February 21st, 2018

An antibiotic resistant form of typhoid devastating Pakistan has acquired an extra piece of DNA, researchers have revealed.

The disease has proved resistant to five antibiotics, including ceftriaxone.

Professor Rumina Hasan of the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, with Public Health England and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to investigate the genetic cause of the problem.

They carried out whole genome sequencing of samples from Pakistan and identified it as strain H58, with an extra strand of bacterial DNA that produced further antibiotic resistance genes. The team believe this extra DNA could have been co-opted from E. coli.

In yesterday's (20 February) mBio, the team state that there is an urgent need for preventative strategies including vaccines.

They write: "A particular aggressive strain (actually a genetic clone) of multidrug-resistant typhoid, H58, first emerged in the 1990s. This H58 strain has grabbed our attention because, while other multidrug-resistant typhoid strains have mostly remained in the local area where they first appeared, H58 has quickly spread across the globe.

"Currently, the majority of all global multidrug-resistant typhoid strains can be classified as H58. It's a quick learner that is able to not only evolve more easily, but also multiply and spread more rapidly than other typhoid strains."

Dr Charlie Weller, of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK, added: "The treatment options for typhoid are running out. It's time we focus on prevention, in addition to treatment."

Klemm, E. et al. Emergence of an extensively drug-resistant Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi clone harboring a promiscuous plasmid encoding resistance to Fluoroquinolones and third-generation Cephalosporins. mBio 20 February 2018 doi: 10.1128/mBio.00105-18

Tags: Asia | Gastroenterology | Genetics | Traveller Health | UK News

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