PRO/EDR> Salmonella Paratyphi A: Cambodia (PP) emergence/fluoroquinolone resist., 2016-20


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Fri 9 Jun 2023
Source: Doherty Institute [edited]

Scientists have discovered a concerning increase in a type of bacteria
that causes paratyphoid fever to become resistant to antibiotics in

In a study published in Microbial Genomics
[] and co-funded by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and
Immunity (Doherty Institute), scientists from the Institut Pasteur du
Cambodge found that the bacterium responsible for causing
life-threatening paratyphoid fever, called Salmonella enterica
serovar Paratyphi A, is becoming increasingly resistant to
fluoroquinolones, an antibiotic class commonly used to treat bacterial

Studying bacteria samples collected in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh,
the scientists looked at the genetic makeup of the bacteria and found
that it had mutated to survive and grow even when the antibiotic was
used to fight it. 

Lead author of the study and group leader of the Bacterial
Phylogenomics group at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Dr Koen
Vandelannoote, said the research demonstrates the power of genomics
and how it informs our understanding of the spread of superbugs.

“Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem because it limits the
treatment options for people who get sick with paratyphoid fever,” Dr
Vandelannoote said. “Antibiotics are powerful medicines that can kill
bacteria and help us fight infections. However, when they are overused
or used inappropriately, bacteria can develop resistance and become

Co-author of the study University of Melbourne Professor Tim Stinear
added that the research calls for increased genomic surveillance of
antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries, like
Cambodia, to better understand and combat the spread of resistant

“This highlights the need for ongoing surveillance of antibiotic
resistance globally, and the development of new strategies to combat
the problem. By working together and taking responsible actions, we
can help prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and
protect public health,” Professor Stinear said.

“Although there are challenges in terms of initial investment,
infrastructure, expertise, and training, the decreasing cost of
whole-genome sequencing presents an opportunity to strengthen public
health efforts and address the rising threat of antibiotic

Salmonella Paratyphi, the bacterium responsible for paratyphoid
fever, can be found in contaminated water and food. While less severe
than typhoid, paratyphoid can cause severe fever, headache, loss of
appetite, and abdominal pain.

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