New drug-resistant strain of salmonella identified

04/14/04

NB. Please note that if you are outside North America, the embargo for LANCET press material is 0001 hours UK Time 16 April 2004.

Researchers from Taiwan report the identification of a new form of drug-resistant salmonella bacterium in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Salmonella enterica serotype choleraesuis usually causes infections that require antimicrobial treatment. Multidrug-resistant strains have been identified, but the antimicrobial ceftriaxone has been effective against them so far.

Professor J T Ou, from Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and colleagues isolated a strain of Salmonella enterica serotype choleraesuis that was resistant to all antimicrobials commonly used to treat salmonellosis, including ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. The bacterium came from a 58-year-old man with sepsis who subsequently died.

The drug-resistance was due to changes in the genes of the bacteria, including some in a genetic element that can potentially be transmitted between bacteria. Although this strain was from only one patient, the public-health implications of multidrug-resistant salmonella are serious. "Constant surveillance is needed to prevent its further spread," warn the authors.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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