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J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Mar;43(3):1205-9.

Analysis of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns associated with international travel.

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  • 1Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd., Mail Stop C03, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Typhoid fever is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing an estimated 16 million cases and 600,000 deaths annually. Although overall rates of the disease have dramatically decreased in the United States, the number of travel-related infections has increased in recent decades. Drug resistance among Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi strains has emerged worldwide, making antimicrobial susceptibility testing an important function in public health laboratories. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtyping of food-borne and waterborne pathogens has proven to be a valuable tool for the detection of outbreaks and laboratory-based surveillance. This retrospective study examined the distribution of PFGE patterns of S. enterica serotype Typhi isolates from patients with a history of international travel. Isolates were collected as part of a passive laboratory-based antimicrobial susceptibility surveillance study. Isolates were PFGE subtyped by using the restriction enzyme XbaI to restrict the total genomic DNA. Isolates indistinguishable with XbaI were further characterized using the restriction enzyme BlnI. A total of 139 isolates were typed, representing travel to 31 countries. Restriction fragment patterns consisted of 14 to 18 fragments ranging in size from 580 to 40 kbp. Seventy-nine unique PFGE patterns were generated using XbaI. Isolates from the same geographic region did not necessarily have similar PFGE patterns. Of the 139 isolates, 46 (33%) were resistant to more than one antimicrobial agent (multidrug resistant [MDR]). Twenty-seven (59%) of 46 MDR isolates had indistinguishable PFGE patterns with both XbaI and BlnI. It appears that MDR S. enterica serotype Typhi has emerged as a predominant clone in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

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