Abstract

People of northern Pakistan face health hazards because of poor sanitation practices. Bacterial gastrointestinal infections are very common and sometime outbreaks occur. The present study was aimed at evaluating and analyzing infestation of Salmonella typhi in stools of patients with suspected gastroenteritis and to ascertain the status of antibiotic therapy. Five hundred and eighty five fecal specimens of suspected gastroenteritis, referred by physicians of District Headquarter Hospital Gilgit, were investigated for common enteropathogenic bacteria from July 1997 to September 1999. Twenty one fecal specimens (3.6%) were found to be infected with S. typhi. All the S. typhi strains were sensitive to cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin and enoxacin. Thirty eight per cent strains were resistant to two antibiotics (ampicillin and chloramphenicol), 24% strains were resistant to ampicillin only and 38% were sensitive to all used antibiotics. A single 23 Kb plasmid was observed in all the ampicillin and chloramphenicol resistant strains. Escherichia coli C600 were transformed with the isolated plasmids. All the transformants resisted growth in media containing 10 µg /ml ampicillin and 30 µg /ml chloramphenicol, showing that the antibiotic resistance is mediated on plasmid. It is concluded that in northern Pakistan, the S. typhi have developed resistance to ampicillin and chloramphenicol and that the antibiotic resistance is plasmid mediated.

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