Complications and mortality of typhoid fever: a global systematic review and meta-analysis: Typhoid complications and mortality


Christian S MarchelloMegan BirkholdJohn A Crump


Objectives: Updated estimates of the prevalence of complications and case fatality ratio (CFR) among typhoid fever patients are needed to understand disease burden.

Methods: Articles published in PubMed and Web of Science from 1 January 1980 through 29 January 2020 were systematically reviewed for hospital or community-based non-surgical studies that used cultures of normally sterile sites, and hospital surgical studies of typhoid intestinal perforation (TIP) with intra- or post-operative findings suggestive of typhoid. Prevalence of 21 pre-selected recognized complications of typhoid fever, crude and median (interquartile range) CFR, and pooled CFR estimates using a random effects meta-analysis were calculated.

Results: Of 113 study sites, 106 (93.8%) were located in Asia and Africa, and 84 (74.3%) were non-surgical. Among non-surgical studies, 70 (83.3%) were hospital-based. Of 10,355 confirmed typhoid patients, 2,719 (26.3%) had complications. The pooled CFR estimate among non-surgical patients was 0.9% for the Asia region and 5.4% for the Africa region. Delay in care was significantly correlated with increased CFR in Asia (r=0.84; p<0.01). Among surgical studies, the median CFR of TIP was 15.5% (6.7-24.1%) per study.

Conclusions: Our findings identify considerable typhoid-associated illness and death that could be averted with prevention measures, including typhoid conjugate vaccine introduction.

Click here to read the article, published in the Journal of Infection.