First Case of Typhoid Fever due to Extensively Drug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi in Italy


Michela Procaccianti, Alice Motta, Stefano Giordani, Sara Riscassi, Battista Guidi, Monica Ruffini, Valentina Maffini, Susanna Esposito, Icilio Dodi


Typhoid fever is a potentially severe and occasionally life-threatening bacteraemic illness caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi). In Pakistan, an outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) S. Typhi cases began in November 2016. We report on a five-year-old boy who contracted enteric fever while travelling in Pakistan and was diagnosed after returning to Italy in September 2019. Blood culture isolated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi that was XDR to all first-line antibiotics, including ceftriaxone and fluoroquinolones. Empiric therapy was switched to meropenem, and the patient recovered completely. Whole-genome sequencing showed that this isolate was of haplotype H58. The XDR S. Typhi clone encoded a chromosomally located resistance region and harbored a plasmid encoding additional resistance elements, including the blaCTX-M-15 extended-spectrum β-lactamase and the qnrS fluoroquinolone resistance gene. This is the first case of typhoid fever due to XDR S. Typhi detected in Italy and one of the first paediatric cases reported outside Pakistan, highlighting the need to be vigilant for future cases. While new vaccines against typhoid are in development, clinicians should consider adapting their empiric approach for patients returning from regions at risk of XDR S. Typhi outbreak with typhoid symptoms.

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