High relatedness of invasive multi-drug resistant non-typhoidal Salmonella genotypes among patients and asymptomatic carriers in endemic informal settlements in Kenya

Samuel Kariuki, Cecilia Mbae, Sandra Van Puyvelde, Robert Onsare, Susan Kavai, Celestine Wairimu, Ronald Ngetich, John Clemens, Gordon Dougan

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    Author summary Blood-stream infections in young children in Sub-Saharan Africa cause high levels of morbidity and mortality. Non-typhoidalSalmonella(NTS) serovars Typhimurium and Enteritidis are especially important in causing blood-stream infections in Kenya. In this case-control study we examined a total of 4201 children with potential blood-stream infections and compared their NTS genotypes with those found in fecal samples of 6326 asymptomatic age-matched controls. From a phylogenetic analysis, we observed a high rate of carriage in cases and controls of multidrug resistantSalmonellagenotypes with similarity to those causing invasive disease. We hypothesize that the high carriage rates in asymptomatic population may be contributing to maintenance and transmission of NTS disease among vulnerable population of children.

    Invasive Non-typhoidalSalmonella(iNTS) disease is a major public health challenge, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In Kenya, mortality rates are high (20-25%) unless prompt treatment is instituted. The most common serotypes areSalmonella entericaserotype Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) andSalmonella entericaserotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis). In a 5 year case-control study in children residing in the Mukuru informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, a total of 4201 blood cultures from suspected iNTS cases and 6326 fecal samples from age-matched controls were studied. From the laboratory cultures we obtained a total of 133S. Typhimurium isolates of which 83(62.4%) came from cases (53 blood and 30 fecal) and 50(37.6%) from controls (fecal). A total of 120S. Enteritidis consisted of 70(58.3%) from cases (43 blood and 27 fecal) and 50(41.7%) from controls (fecal). TheS. Typhimurium population fell into two distinct ST19 lineages constituting 36.1%, as well as ST313 lineage I (27.8%) and ST313 lineage II (36.1%) isolates. TheS. Enteritidis isolates fell into the global epidemic lineage (46.6%), the Central/Eastern African lineage (30.5%), a novel Kenyan-specific lineage (12.2%) and a phylogenetically outlier lineage (10.7%). Detailed phylogenetic analysis revealed a high level of relatedness between NTS from blood and stool originating from cases and controls, indicating a common source pool. Multidrug resistance was common throughout, with 8.5% of such isolates resistant to extended spectrum beta lactams. The high rate of asymptomatic carriage in the population is a concern for transmission to vulnerable individuals and this group could be targeted for vaccination if an iNTS vaccine becomes available.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0008440
    JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
    Issue number8
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • AFRICA
    • MALAWI


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