Background: Multi-drug resistant typhoid fever remains an enormous public health threat in low and middle-income countries. However, we still lack a detailed understanding of the epidemiology and genomics of S. Typhi in many regions. Here we have undertaken a detailed genomic analysis of typhoid in urban Dhaka, Bangladesh to unravel the population structure and antimicrobial resistance patterns in S. Typhi isolated between 2004-2016.
Principal findings: Whole genome sequencing of 202 S. Typhi isolates obtained from three study locations in urban Dhaka revealed a diverse range of S. Typhi genotypes and AMR profiles. The bacterial population within Dhaka were relatively homogenous with little stratification between different healthcare facilities or age groups. We also observed evidence of exchange of Bangladeshi genotypes with neighboring South Asian countries (India, Pakistan and Nepal) suggesting these are circulating throughout the region. This analysis revealed a decline in H58 (genotype 4.3.1) isolates from 2011 onwards, coinciding with a rise in a diverse range of non-H58 genotypes and a simultaneous rise in isolates with reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones, potentially reflecting a change in treatment practices. We identified a novel S. Typhi genotype, subclade 3.3.2 (previously defined only to clade level, 3.3), which formed two localized clusters (3.3.2.Bd1 and 3.3.2.Bd2) associated with different mutations in the Quinolone Resistance Determining Region (QRDR) of gene gyrA.
Significance: Our analysis of S. Typhi isolates from urban Dhaka, Bangladesh isolated over a twelve year period identified a diverse range of AMR profiles and genotypes. The observed increase in non-H58 genotypes associated with reduced fluoroquinolone susceptibility may reflect a change in treatment practice in this region and highlights the importance of continued molecular surveillance to monitor the ongoing evolution of AMR in Dhaka. We have defined new genotypes and lineages of Bangladeshi S. Typhi which will facilitate the identification of these emerging AMR clones in future surveillance efforts.