Whole genome sequence analysis of Salmonella Typhi provides evidence of phylogenetic linkage between cases of typhoid fever in Santiago, Chile in the 1980s and 2010-2016.

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Sikorski, Michael J 
Carey, Megan E 
Higginson, Ellen E 
Dyson, Zoe A 

Typhoid fever epidemiology was investigated rigorously in Santiago, Chile during the 1980s, when Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) caused seasonal, hyperendemic disease. Targeted interventions reduced the annual typhoid incidence rates from 128-220 cases/105 population occurring between 1977-1984 to <8 cases/105 from 1992 onwards. As such, Santiago represents a contemporary example of the epidemiologic transition of an industrialized city from amplified hyperendemic typhoid fever to a period when typhoid is no longer endemic. We used whole genome sequencing (WGS) and phylogenetic analysis to compare the genotypes of S. Typhi cultured from acute cases of typhoid fever occurring in Santiago during the hyperendemic period of the 1980s (n = 74) versus the nonendemic 2010s (n = 80) when typhoid fever was rare. The genotype distribution between "historical" (1980s) isolates and "modern" (2011-2016) isolates was similar, with genotypes 3.5 and 2 comprising the majority of isolations, and 73/80 (91.3%) of modern isolates matching a genotype detected in the 1980s. Additionally, phylogenomically 'ancient' genotypes 1.1 and 1.2.1, uncommon in the global collections, were also detected in both eras, with a notable rise amongst the modern isolates. Thus, genotypes of S. Typhi causing acute illness in the modern nonendemic era match the genotypes circulating during the hyperendemic 1980s. The persistence of historical genotypes may be explained by chronic typhoid carriers originally infected during or before the 1980s.

Research Article, Medicine and health sciences, Biology and life sciences, People and places, Computer and information sciences
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PLoS Negl Trop Dis
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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Wellcome Trust (106158/Z/14/Z)