A strain of Salmonella that is immune to the effects of drugs commonly used to treat the infection has made its way to the UK, France and Denmark.
The resistant strain is believed to have originated in Africa and has now spread to Europe, becoming stronger along the way, according to a team of international researchers.
Health officials have now been urged to keep the “superbug” under surveillance in order to prevent it from spreading worldwide. There were just a handful of cases in 2002 but this expanded to 500 cases worldwide in 2008, according to the report in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Co-researcher Dr Simon Le Hello of Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, said health authorities should learn from past experiences in this area to ensure that a global outbreak doesn’t occur.
He said: “We hope that this publication might stir awareness among national and international health, food, and agricultural authorities so that they take the necessary measures to control and stop the dissemination of this strain before it spreads globally, as did another multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella, Typhimurium DT104, starting in the 1990s.”
- Hello SL, et al. International Spread of an Epidemic Population of Salmonella enterica Serotype Kentucky ST198 Resistant to Ciprofloxacin. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2011; Advance online publication