by Chisomo L. Msefula, Robert A. Kingsley, Melita A. Gordon, Elizabeth Molyneux, Malcolm E. Molyneux, Calman A. MacLennan, Gordon Dougan, Robert S. Heyderman
Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars are a common cause of bacteraemia in young children and HIV-infected adults in Malawi and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. These patient populations provide diverse host-immune environments that have the potential to drive bacterial adaptation and evolution. We therefore investigated the diversity of 27 multidrug resistant (MDR) Salmonella Typhimurium strains isolated over 6 years (2002–2008) from HIV-infected adults and children and HIV-uninfected children. Sequence reads from whole-genome sequencing of these isolates using the Illumina GA platform were mapped to the genome of the laboratory strain S. Typhimurium SL1344 excluding homoplastic regions that contained prophage and insertion elements. A phylogenetic tree generated from single nucleotide polymorphisms showed that all 27 strains clustered with the prototypical MDR strain D23580. There was no clustering of strains based on host HIV status or age, suggesting that these susceptible populations acquire S. Typhimurium from common sources or that isolates are transmitted freely between these populations. However, 7/14 of the most recent isolates (2006/2008) formed a distinct clade that branched off 22 SNPs away from the cluster containing earlier isolates. These data suggest that the MDR bacterial population is not static, but is undergoing microevolution which might result in further epidemiology change.