TYPHOID affects some 21m people each year, and about 1% of cases are fatal. Before antibiotics were used to treat the disease 70 years ago, death rates were much higher. If left unchecked, typhoid can cause internal bleeding, perforation of the gut and, in up to a fifth of cases, death. Researchers are now concerned that an “extensively drug resistant” (XDR) strain of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. typhi), the bacterium that causes the disease, could see a return to those dangerous days.
Since November 2016 the XDR strain has led to 858 reported cases of the disease and four deaths in the Sindh province of Pakistan, according to the latest figures from Pakistan’s National Institute of Health. Together with their colleagues, Elizabeth Klemm of the Wellcome Sanger Institute near Cambridge and Rumina Hasan of the Aga Khan University in Karachi have analysed the pathogen. Their study, published…Continue reading