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Drug Resistant Typhoid


According to a study published in The Lancet Microbe journal, the bacteria that cause typhoid fever are growing more and more resistant to some of the most popular antibiotics.

  • Each year, typhoid fever results in about 100,000 fatalities and 11 million infections. South Asia accounts for 70% of the global disease burden.


GS II- Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About  Typhoid
  2. About Drug Resistance

About Typhoid:

  • Typhoid fever is a life-threatening systemic infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (commonly known as Salmonella Typhi) carried only by humans – no other animal carrier has been found.
  • Transmission:
  • Typhoid fever is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, through ingestion of contaminated food or water.
  • Without treatment, about one person in 20 who recovers from typhoid becomes a ‘carrier’. 
  • Despite having no symptoms of illness, they have bacteria in their faeces and urine, and can infect others for a period of about three months (sometimes up to one year).
  • Travellers are at high risk of developing typhoid fever in many typhoid endemic countries. This includes parts of Asia (especially India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Middle East.


  • Symptoms and signs of typhoid range from mild to severe, can last for about one month without treatment, and may include: fever, fatigue or tiredness, malaise (general feeling of unwellness), sore throat, persistent cough, headache.


Typhoid fever requires prompt treatment with antibiotics.

About Drug Resistance

  • The advent of drug-resistant strains of bacteria threatens the efficacy of medicines for treating typhoid fever.
  • Because antibiotics or other medications intended to kill these bacteria no longer work on resistant strains of bacteria, they can spread quickly and endanger public health.
  • Since 2000, multi-drug-resistant (MDR) typhoid has declined steadily in Bangladesh and India, remained low in Nepal, and increased slightly in Pakistan.
  • However, these are being replaced by strains resistant to other antibiotics, according to the study conducted by researchers from Stanford University, Christian Medical College Vellore and other institutions.

About Multi drug resistance

  • Multiple drug resistance (MDR), multidrug resistance or multi-resistance is antimicrobial resistance shown by a species of microorganism to multiple antimicrobial drugs.
  • The types most threatening to public health are MDR bacteria that resist multiple antibiotics; other types include MDR viruses, parasites (resistant to multiple antifungals, antiviral, and antiparasitic drugs of a wide chemical variety).
  • Recognizing different degrees of MDR, the terms extensively drug resistant (XDR) and pandrug-resistant (PDR) have been introduced.

-Source: Indian Express

March 2024