Evaluation of sensitivity and specificity of ELISA against Widal test for typhoid diagnosis in endemic population of Kathmandu


Anurag Adhikari, Ramanuj Rauniyar, Pramod Prasad Raut, Krishna Das Manandhar and Birendra Prasad Gupta


Background: Widal test, which has poor predictive outcomes in predominant typhoid population, is not standard enough to predict accurate diagnosis. This study aims to compare the diagnostic accuracy of Widal test to ELISA using blood culture as gold standard.

Methods: The blood samples were collected in Capital Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal from febrile patients having ≥48 h fever in 3 years study period for blood culture, Widal test and IgG-IgM ELISA.

Results: Amongst 1371 febrile cases, 237 were Salmonella typhi positive to blood culture and 71.4 % typhoid fever patient were of 46-60 years old with male to female ratio of 2:1. Blood culture confirmed patients had ≥1:40 anti-TH and anti-TO titre in 45.56 % (n = 108) and 43.88 % (n = 104) patients respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of IgG (0.96 and 0.95) and IgM (0.95 and 0.94) at 95 % confidence level were significant compared to Widal anti-TH (0.72 and 0.58) and TO (0.80 and 0.51) test (p value, 0.038) at titre level ≥1:200. Further the PPV of Widal TH and TO (0.38 and 0.23) was low compared to IgG and IgM ELISA (0.78 and 0.77) (p value, 0.045).

Conclusion: Widal test is not sensitive enough for an endemic setting like Nepal and thus should be either replaced with more accurate test like ELISA or follow an alternative diagnostic methodology.


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