Drug resistance in Salmonella Typhi: implications for South Asia and travel


Sneha RadhaMalathi MurugesanPriscilla Rupali 


Purpose of review: Recent attempts at mapping Typhoid epidemiology have revealed an enormous burden of disease in developing countries. Countries hitherto believed to have a low incidence, such as the African subcontinent, on accurate mapping were found to have a significant burden of disease. Drug resistance, because of rampant overuse of antibiotics, has driven selection pressure to extensively drug-resistant typhoid becoming a reality in the Indian subcontinent. With widespread travel, importation of this variety of typhoid to nonendemic countries is likely to lead to outbreaks in a nonimmune population.

Recent findings: A strain of extensively drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi isolated in Pakistan in 2016 has been responsible for multiple outbreaks in Pakistan and multiple travel-related cases all over the world in United States, UK, and Australia. This novel strain belongs to H58 lineage harbouring a plasmid encoding additional resistance elements like blaCTX-M-15 and a qnrS fluoroquinolone resistance gene. This resistance pattern has rendered many therapeutic options like Ceftriaxone and Fluoroquinolones clinically inactive impacting care in endemic and traveller populations alike.

Summary: Changing epidemiology and drug resistance in typhoid indicates that it may be prudent to vaccinate nonimmune travellers travelling to typhoid endemic areas, especially the Indian subcontinent.

Click here to read the article, published in Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases.