Investigation into a community outbreak of Salmonella Typhi in Bengaluru, India


Purighalla S, Esakimuthu S, Reddy M, Seth T, Patil SD, Varghese GK, Dasarathy R, Richard VS, Sambandamurthy VK



Outbreaks of infection due to Salmonella enterica servovar Typhi (S. Typhi) are a great threat to public health. A rapid molecular typing method to characterize strains implicated in an outbreak is critical in implementing appropriate control measures. This study was done to demonstrate the power of a PCR-based method to provide rapid insights into the genetic relatedness amongst the Salmonella isolates implicated in a suspected typhoid fever outbreak.


Forty two S. Typhi isolates originating from three geographically distinct areas, with one area suspected to have a single-source outbreak were included in the study. The genetic fingerprint of all isolates was generated using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence based-PCR (ERIC-PCR). The antimicrobial susceptibility profiles were also evaluated.


ERIC-PCR was found to be rapid and reproducible with a discriminatory index of 0.766. The dendrogram constructed based on ERIC-PCR fingerprinting revealed the existence of 12 distinct genotypes. The location suspected to have an outbreak displayed two genotypes amongst the 24 isolates. The other two locations (18 isolates) displayed genetic heterogeneity. The clonality of the outbreak isolates from the time-matched control isolates was established. The observed antimicrobial susceptibility profiles did not have any discriminatory power to subtype the isolates compared to the genetic fingerprints.


Our study demonstrated the discriminatory power and value of ERIC-PCR in the typing of S. Typhi isolates and providing valuable epidemiological insights.

Click here to view the article, published in Indian Journal of Medical Research