• A new study reveals the pathological mechanism of the typhoid toxin.
  • This research is important as typhoid fever kills approximately 168,000 people annually.
  • This disease is the product of the bacteria Salmonella Typhi. That is, the said bacteria secrete the typhoid toxin which damages cellular DNA.
  • In addition to this, it is most common in developing countries, especially in communities with low levels of hygiene.
  • Symptoms of this infection are similar to dengue and malaria diseases. Scientists believe their findings will help in the diagnosis process.


About the Research

The scientist working on the typhoid toxin research comes from the Department of Biomedical Science and Healthy Lifespan Institute at the University of Sheffield. Furthermore, the researchers’ aim is to determine how the disease develops and how it influences the body. Also, they want to discover potential ways of diagnosing the disease. This is because modern medicine has difficulties in distinguishing the disease from other bacterial infections.

Findings from this study are found in the journal Nature Communications. Also, take a look at the recent developments on the Hendra and Nipah viruses, and their combined influence on the organism.

Typhoid Toxin and the DNA

Previously we knew that the bacteria Salmonella Typhi lay at the cause of typhoid fever. However, we were not certain about the exact mechanism of the infection. That is why scientists wanted to experiment further with the bacteria. So, they infected healthy human cells with the bacteria and observed the reaction. In addition to this, they observed the cells with the aid of a fluorescent microscope.

The so-called typhoid toxin is a secretion that the bacteria Salmonella Typhi releases. As the toxin comes in contact with the cell it damages its natural regeneration process. That is, the toxin causes the cell to age faster and therefore deteriorate. This, in turn, leaves the cell more prone to infection.

  • Even though this study breaks new ground scientists did not explain how the findings help in the diagnosis and treatment. More research needs to be done in the future before such tools are found.