May 20, 2014 By

Researchers in Aberdeen Targeting Typhoid Cure


A research team from the University of Aberdeen is hoping to develop a cure for typhoid, 50 years after the largest outbreak of the disease in British history.

Dr Stefania Spano, who leads the research, said that twenty six million new cases were being diagnosed annually. Spano said that the team was focusing on identifying the molecules that can kill the pathogenic bacteria, Salmonella Typhi, which causes the infection.

“It is just one in over 2,000 types of Salmonella bacteria, but among the least understood”, she said. “Typhoid is an infection that is unique to humans; in developing countries where poor sanitation is a concern, it continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people each year”, she added.

The 1964 Aberdeen typhoid outbreak caused more than 500 people of all ages to be hospitalized, many spending weeks there until they were allowed home. An inquiry into the outbreak later found that a large can of Argentinean corned beef that was cooled using untreated water from a river had caused the infection. The can of beef had been sold sliced from a supermarket cold meat counter and the typhoid organism was assumed to have entered the meat through a small hole in the seam of the can.

Posted in: Uncategorized