Detection of Vi-negative Salmonella enterica serovar typhi in the peripheral blood of patients with typhoid fever in the Faisalabad Region of Pakistan

Stephen G. Baker, Yasra Sarwar, Hafsa Aziz, Asma Haque, Aamir Ali, Gordon Dougan, John Wain, Abdul Haque

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Abstract

The synthesis and transportation proteins of the Vi capsular polysaccharide of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (serovar Typhi) are encoded by the viaB operon, which resides on a 134-kb pathogenicity island known as SPI-7. In recent years, Vi-negative strains of serovar Typhi have been reported in regions where typhoid fever is endemic. However, because Vi negativity can arise during in vitro passage, the clinical significance of Vi-negative serovar Typhi is not clear. To investigate the loss of Vi expression at the genetic level, 60 stored strains of serovar Typhi from the Faisalabad region of Pakistan were analyzed by PCR for the presence of SPI-7 and two genes essential for Vi production: tviA and tviB, Nine of the sixty strains analyzed (15%) tested negative for both tviA and tviB; only two of these strains lacked SPI-7. In order to investigate whether this phenomenon occurred in vivo, blood samples from patients with the clinical symptoms of typhoid fever were also investigated. Of 48 blood samples tested, 42 tested positive by fliC PCR for serovar Typhi; 4 of these were negative for tviA and tviB. Three of these samples tested positive for SPI-7. These results demonstrate that viaA-negative, SPI-7-positive serovar Typhi is naturally occurring and can be detected by PCR in the peripheral blood of typhoid patients in this region. The method described here can be used to monitor the incidence of Vi-negative serovar Typhi in regions where the Vi vaccine is used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4418-4425
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume43
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

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