Bacteria ‘drug-immune’ warns of outbreak of another Victoria’s disease

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BRITS has been warned that another Victorian case of the disease could rise.

Experts say the bacteria that cause typhoid become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

It comes after an outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) was detected in Wales after a man sadly died of illness.

Prior to that, cases of diseases such as scarlet fever and measles were at their highest in five years.

Now, a new study suggests that the largest type of typhoid, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), has spread.

The disease started in South Asia, but Stanford doctors say it has spread to other countries nearly 200 times since 1990.

Warning when Victoria's disease cases hit a five-year high - 6 signs you need to know

In general, antibiotic resistance has decreased in South Asia.

Experts said the number of strains resistant to macrolides and quinolones, two of the most important antibiotics for human health, has risen sharply and has spread to other countries.

Jason Andrews, PhD at Stanford University and lead author of the paper, said this is ‘reason for concern’.

“It underscores the urgent need to expand preventive measures, especially in the countries most at risk.

“At the same time, the fact that resistant strains of S. Typhi have spread internationally multiple times also underscores the need to view typhoid control and antibiotic resistance more generally as global rather than regional issues,” said Dr Andrews.

Experts published in the journal The Lancet Microbe looked at blood samples collected between 2014 and 2019.

These are from 3,489 typhoid strains from peoples of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan with confirmed cases of typhoid.

Medic also added 4,169 samples from 70 countries between 1905 and 2018.

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According to their analysis, resistant S. Typhi strains have spread between countries at least 197 times since 1990.

This strain is most common in Southeast Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, from South Asia and South Asia.

However, doctors have also seen reports of it in the UK, US and Canada.

What is typhoid?

Typhoid is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body and affect many organs.

Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.

It is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, which is related to the bacterium that causes salmonella food poisoning.

Typhoid is highly contagious. An infected person can pass the bacteria out of the body through feces or, less commonly, through urine.

If another person eats food or drinks water contaminated with small amounts of infected feces or urine, they can become infected with the bacteria and get typhoid.

Typhoid is most common in a world with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water.

Globally, children are thought to be at the highest risk of developing typhoid because their immune systems are still developing.

The main symptoms of typhoid are:

  • High temperature that can reach 39~40C
  • headache
  • general aches and pains
  • cough
  • Constipation

As the infection progresses, you may lose your appetite, feel nauseous, have a stomach ache, and have diarrhea. Some people may develop a rash.

If typhoid is not treated, symptoms continue to worsen over the next several weeks and increase the risk of potentially fatal complications.

Typhoid is uncommon in the UK, with about 500 cases each year.

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Most of these cases were infected while visiting relatives in Bangladesh, India or Pakistan.

However, there is also a risk of infection if you are visiting Asia, Africa, or South America.

Source: NHS

Mutations resistant to quinolones have been spread at least 94 times since 1990. Half occurred in South Asia.

Experts added that mutations that cause resistance to the widely used antibiotic, azithromycin, have appeared at least seven times in the past 20 years.

Medic said their findings add to evidence of the rapid increase and spread of antibiotic-resistant strains important to human health.

Pet owners recently warned ‘incurable superbugs’ not to share beds with dogs.

The mcr-1 gene is passed from animals to humans via microscopic fecal particles.

It makes the bacteria resistant to colistin, the antibiotic of last resort used to treat an infection when all else fails.

“Bacteria will inevitably find ways to resist human-developed antibiotics,” the CDC said.

“This is why it is more important than ever to slow the spread of resistance by following infection control measures for all patients.”

An increase in bacteria resistant to all antibiotics results in many infections that cannot be treated and ultimately more deaths.

If infection rates do not decrease, it is estimated that by 2050, drug-resistant infections will cause 10 million deaths per year.

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