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Population structure and transmission modes of indigenous typhoid in Taiwan

  • Wang, Kai-Yu1
  • Lee, De-Jen2
  • Shie, Shian-Sen1, 3
  • Chen, Chih-Jung1, 4, 5
  • 1 Chang Gung University, School of medicine, College of Medicine, Taoyuan, 333, Taiwan , Taoyuan (Taiwan)
  • 2 Chang Gung University, Physical Education Office, Taoyuan, 333, Taiwan , Taoyuan (Taiwan)
  • 3 Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Taoyuan, 333, Taiwan , Taoyuan (Taiwan)
  • 4 Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics, Linkou, No. 5, Fu-Shin Street, Kweishan, Taoyuan, 333, Taiwan , Taoyuan (Taiwan)
  • 5 Xiamen Chang Gung Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Xiamen, Fujian, China , Xiamen (China)
Published Article
BMC Medical Genomics
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Sep 03, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s12920-019-0576-6
Springer Nature


BackgroundIndigenous typhoid fever was continuing to be identified in Taiwan which has not been endemic for the enteric fever for more than 20 years. The source and transmission by which the local patients acquired typhoid and the population structure of the indigenous typhoid strains remain not well characterized.MethodsDuring 2001 and 2014, non-duplicated clinical Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi isolates in a hospital were analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and determined for pulsotypes. Maximum likelihood phylogeny was constructed by nucleotide alterations in core genomes and compared to the framework of global typhoid strains. Potential source and transmission were traced by correlating the phylogeny and the temporal relationship between isolates.ResultsA total of 43 S. Typhi isolates from indigenous cases were analyzed and a majority (39, 90.7%) of them were belonged to six WGS-defined genotypes prevailing mainly in Southeast Asia. Genotype 3.4.0 and a multidrug-resistant type 4.3.1 (also known as pandemic H58 haplotype) were associated respectively with two solitary small-scale outbreaks, implying a transmission mode of importation followed by outbreak. Twelve isolates with nearly identical core genomes were belonged to genotype 3.2.1 but were categorized into three different pulsotypes. The 3.2.1 isolates were identified across 13 years and involved in three clusters and a sporadic case, indicating sustained local transmission of the same strain. The remaining indigenous isolates belonging to three genotypes (2.1, 3.1.2, and 3.0.0) were of substantial genetic diversity and isolated at different time points, indicating independent event of each case.ConclusionsIndigenous typhoid in Taiwan occurred mainly with the forms of small-scale outbreaks or sporadic events likely by contracting imported strains which prevailed in Southeast Asia. Sustained local transmission of certain strain was also evident by WGS analysis, but not by conventional pulsotyping, highlighting the importance of continuing molecular surveillance of typhoid fever with adequate tools in the non-endemic region.

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