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Salmonella: Drug-Resistant Strain of Bacteria Gains in Africa, With High Death Rates

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A new drug-resistant strain of bacteria has emerged in the last decade in Africa and is causing unusual numbers of deaths there, British and African researchers said on Monday.

The strain, a variant of Salmonella typhimurium, is named ST313. Its genome was decoded by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and researchers in Kenya and Malawi.

While most salmonella bacteria cause diarrhea and are rarely fatal, this one causes death in one of four cases among children and vulnerable adults in some African regions, the researchers said. Many of its victims have been weakened by the AIDS virus, anemia, malaria or malnutrition.

Salmonella normally circulates in animals and reaches humans via food poisoning. (Consumer Reports said Monday that two-thirds of the chickens it had tested had campylobacter or salmonella, though not of this new strain.)
 
 

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