BACKGROUND: Salmonella Paratyphi B (Paratyphoid B) is a rare infection and a notifiable disease in England. Disease is typically mild, and chronic carriage in children has been described in endemic countries. Almost all cases in England are imported, with very few cases of community transmission reported.
METHODS: The aim of this work was to describe an unusual cluster of Paratyphoid B cases transmitted within England, examining clinical, epidemiologic and microbiologic data. Detailed phylogenetic analysis is presented to corroborate public health epidemiologic links between cases.
RESULTS: One child had recently returned from an endemic area and had mild gastrointestinal symptoms. One year later, 2 other children with no travel history developed invasive disease requiring hospitalization. Epidemiologic links confirmed person-to-person spread between these three cases. All isolates of S. Paratyphi B (n = 93) received by the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit between 2014 and 2019 were typed using whole genome sequencing. Three cases of Paratyphoid B were identified in the same geographical location over a 2-year period. S. Paratyphi B strains isolated from the stool and blood of the three cases were closely linked (0-5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms) using whole genome sequencing.
CONCLUSIONS: This case series highlights the potential public health risks of paratyphoid B and the range of pediatric complications associated with this illness, especially in younger children. Although rare, chronic carriage of Paratyphoid B can lead to transmission in nonendemic areas and should be considered in all children presenting with signs of enteric fever even where there is no history of foreign travel.