Salmonella typhi, the causative agent of typhoid fever, is approximately 50,000 years old

Infect Genet Evol. 2002 Oct;2(1):39-45. doi: 10.1016/s1567-1348(02)00089-8.


A global collection of 26 isolates of Salmonella typhi was investigated by sequencing a total of 3336 bp in seven housekeeping genes. Only three polymorphic sites were found and the isolates fell into four sequence types. These results show that S. typhi is a recent clone whose last common ancestor existed so recently that multiple mutations have not yet accumulated. Based on molecular clock rates for the accumulation of synonymous polymorphisms, we estimate that the last common ancestor of S. typhi existed 15,000-150,000 years ago, during the human hunter-gatherer phase and prior to the development of agriculture and the domestication of animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Salmonella typhi / genetics*
  • Time Factors
  • Typhoid Fever / microbiology*

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY142218
  • GENBANK/AY142219
  • GENBANK/AY142220
  • GENBANK/AY142221
  • GENBANK/AY142222
  • GENBANK/AY142223
  • GENBANK/AY142224
  • GENBANK/AY142225
  • GENBANK/AY142226
  • GENBANK/AY142227
  • GENBANK/AY142228
  • GENBANK/AY142229
  • GENBANK/AY142230
  • GENBANK/AY142231
  • GENBANK/AY142232
  • GENBANK/AY142233
  • GENBANK/AY142234
  • GENBANK/AY142235
  • GENBANK/AY142236
  • GENBANK/AY142237
  • GENBANK/AY142238
  • GENBANK/AY142239
  • GENBANK/AY142240
  • GENBANK/AY142241