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Last Posted: Feb 20, 2024
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Viruses in sewage help to pinpoint typhoid hotspots Targeting the virus that infects the disease-causing bacterium could be a cheap way to prioritize populations for vaccination campaigns.
S Mallapaty, Nature, March 22, 2023

Public-health officials typically rely on numbers of infected people to identify communities to prioritize for vaccination campaigns, but these data are limited because they rely on testing at health facilities, to which many people in resource-poor regions don’t have access. Some researchers have tried to improve surveillance by testing for the presence of S. Typhi in wastewater, but isolating the bacterium requires collecting large amounts of water and often doesn’t work. Molecular approaches that involve sequencing segments of DNA using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are expensive.

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