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Those living in Africa who have screened positive for AIDS through STD testing are at risk for a mutated and potentially fatal form of salmonella. These findings have been released as part of the journal Nature Genetics.
The infection, which scientists call invasive non-typhoidal salmonella (iNTS), ends the lives of at least 22 percent of the African people it infects, and could be killing as many as 45 percent.
"Our findings suggest the current epidemic of iNTS and its transmission across sub-Saharan Africa may have been potentiated by an increase in the critical population of susceptible immune-compromised people," said Robert Kingsley, an associate of study co-author Chinyere Okoro, linking the prevalence of fatal salmonella to the African AIDS epidemic.
The scientists note that this particular strain of salmonella may have developed immunity to the normally applied first set of antibiotics, which allows it to survive for far longer than it would without this trait. In addition to an affirmative screening for AIDS through STD testing, malnourishment and malaria could also be contributing to the reason why the mortality rate of salmonella is substantially higher in sub-Saharan Africa than it is in the rest of the world.
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