Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Typhi: A more drug-resistant Typhoid


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Salmonella Typhi

Mains level: Not Much

The bacteria causing typhoid fever is becoming increasingly resistant to some of the most important antibiotics for human health.

What is the news?

  • The largest genome analysis of Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi) also shows that resistant strains — almost all originating in South Asia — have spread to other countries nearly 200 times since 1990.
  • The researchers noted that typhoid fever is a global public health concern, causing 11 million infections and more than 1,00,000 deaths per year.
  • Antibiotics can be used to successfully treat typhoid fever infections, but their effectiveness is threatened by the emergence of resistant S. Typhi strains.

What is Salmonella Typhi?

  • Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi) are bacteria that infect the intestinal tract and the blood.
  • It is usually spread through contaminated food or water.
  • Once S. Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream.
  • The disease is referred to as typhoid fever. S. Paratyphi bacteria cause a similar, but milder illness, which comes under the same title.
  • Paratyphoid has a shorter duration, generally, than typhoid.
  • Typhi and S. Paratyphi are common in many developing countries where sewage and water treatment systems are poor.

How does it spread?

  • Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans.
  • Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract.
  • Symptoms include prolonged high fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Some patients may have a rash. Severe cases may lead to serious complications or even death.
  • Typhoid fever can be confirmed through blood testing.


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