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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2011 Jul-Sep;29(3):223-9. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.83904.

Antimicrobial resistance in typhoidal salmonellae.

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Department of Microbiology, Institute of National Importance, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry - 605 006, India.


Infections with Salmonella are an important public health problem worldwide. On a global scale, it has been appraised that Salmonella is responsible for an estimated 3 billion human infections each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that annually typhoid fever accounts for 21.7 million illnesses (217,000 deaths) and paratyphoid fever accounts for 5.4 million of these cases. Infants, children, and adolescents in south-central and South-eastern Asia experience the greatest burden of illness. In cases of enteric fever, including infections with S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A and B, it is often necessary to commence treatment before the results of laboratory sensitivity tests are available. Hence, it is important to be aware of options and possible problems before beginning treatment. Ciprofloxacin has become the first-line drug of choice since the widespread emergence and spread of strains resistant to chloramphenicol, ampicillin, and trimethoprim. There is increase in the occurrence of strains resistant to ciprofloxacin. Reports of typhoidal salmonellae with increasing minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and resistance to newer quinolones raise the fear of potential treatment failures and necessitate the need for new, alternative antimicrobials. Extended-spectrum cephalosporins and azithromycin are the options available for the treatment of enteric fever. The emergence of broad spectrum β-lactamases in typhoidal salmonellae constitutes a new challenge. Already there are rare reports of azithromycin resistance in typhoidal salmonellae leading to treatment failure. This review is based on published research from our centre and literature from elsewhere in the world. This brief review tries to summarize the history and recent trends in antimicrobial resistance in typhoidal salmonellae.

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