Tackling typhoid fever in South Asia: lessons from Vietnam


Buddha Basnyat, Abhilasha Karkey


Biblical diseases like typhoid fever continue to plague South Asia, a densely populated region of 1·8 billion people. Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, comprises both typhoid fever (caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi [S Typhi]) and paratyphoid fever (caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Paratyphi A).The mode of transmission is faecal-oral. All health-care workers in South Asia are familiar with this disease. Because there is no reliable rapid diagnostic test available, many health-care workers use the ubiquitous and antiquated Widal test to make a diagnosis. The Wisal test is a serological test that relies on a 4-fold rise in antibody titre against the H and O antigens of S Typhi between the acute and convalescent stages of disease and should be used, if at all, to confirm diagnosis. Instead, it is used as a standalone test which often leads to overdiagnosis of typhoid fever.

Click here to read the article, published in The Lancet.