- Scientists have isolated a rapidly spreading typhoid bacteria ---H58--- which they say is creating a public health threat.
- Typhoid is contracted through eating or drinking contaminated food. Untreated, the disease can lead to severe complications in the gut and head, and has a 20% fatality rate.
- Although there are vaccines against typhoid, they are not 100% cost-effective, and therefore they are not available in the most at-risk countries.
The research team who uncovered H58 conducted rigorous research, which involved sequencing the genomes of 1,832 samples of Salmonella Typhi bacteria, collected from 63 countries, between 1992 and 2013. They found that 47% were from the H58 strain.
H58, which is considered a superbug, is rapidly transmitted and very powerful. Over the last three decades, this bug has spread from South Asia, to Western Asia, and now East and South Africa, as well as Fiji. The major challenge with H58 is that it is highly resistant to conventional treatments, which include various types of antibiotics. Unfortunately, the scientists involved in this study see this mew strain of multi-drug resistant typhoid as being very difficult to eradicate and some even think that it's here to stay.