Enteric fever is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection caused by i) Salmonella Typhi, which causes typhoid fever, and ii) Salmonella Paratyphi types A, B and C, which cause paratyphoid fever. It is commonly transmitted via contaminated water and food and is endemic in regions of southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. As an indication of the scale of this global public health threat, there were an estimated 14.3 million cases worldwide in 2017 and ~136,000 associated deaths.
Salmonella is no exception to the trend of increasingly observed antimicrobial resistant (AMR) pathogens. In the past 6 years, an extensively drug resistant (XDR) type of typhoid fever began to spread worldwide; in addition to physical suffering, this places an increased burden on healthcare services and is of great concern due to limited treatment options. Dr Gemma Langridge leads a team at the Quadram Institute (QI) who have been collaborating with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) formerly known as Public Health England the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh, and the Allama Iqbal Medical College & Jinnah Hospital and Government College University in Pakistan, using genome sequencing and analysis to better understand and track cases of enteric fever, including both paratyphoid and typhoid variants, providing an evidence base for clinical management and targeted interventions.
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