Abstract: Epidemiological surveillance of Shigella spp. in Australia is conducted to inform public health response. Multi-drug resistance has recently emerged as a contributing factor to sustained local transmission of Shigella spp. All data were collected as part of routine public health surveillance, and strains were whole-genome sequenced for further molecular characterisation. 108 patients with an endemic regional Shigella flexneri strain were identified between 2016 and 2019. The S. flexneri phylogroup 3 strain endemic to northern Australia acquired a multi-drug resistance conferring blaDHA plasmid, which has an IncFII plasmid backbone with virulence and resistance elements typically found in IncR plasmids. This is the first report of multi-drug resistance in Shigella sp. in Australia that is not associated with men who have sex with men. This strain caused an outbreak of multi-drug-resistant S. flexneri in northern Australia that disproportionality affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Community controlled public health action is recommended.
Guglielmino, Christine J. D., Kakkanat, Asha, Forde, Brian M., Rubenach, Sally, Merone, Lea, Stafford, Russell, Graham, Rikki M. A., Beatson, Scott A., Jennison, Amy V., 2020, Outbreak of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) Shigella flexneri in northern Australia due to an endemic regional clone acquiring an IncFII plasmid, Journal Article, viewed 06 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=20670.