The burden of typhoid fever in Klang Valley, Malaysia, 2011-2015


Eida Nurhadzira MuhammadMohd Hatta Abdul MutalipMohd Hazrin HasimFaizah PaiwaiSayan PanMohd Amierul Fikri MahmudNorzawati YeopGuat Hiong TeeA’ Aishah SeninTahir Aris


Background: Typhoid fever causes global morbidity and mortality and is a significant health burden, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The direct fecal-oral route is the main transmission mode, but indirect environmental transmission could occur, particularly in urban settings. This study aimed to investigate the burden and trend of typhoid fever, reporting the coverage system between government and private practice and pattern of multidrug-resistant (MDR) typhoid cases in the urban Klang Valley area from 2011 to 2015.

Methods: The data from a cross-sectional study retrieved from the e-Notifikasi System, a national reporting system for communicable diseases provided by the Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia and secondary data of all the typhoid cases were obtained from the public and private hospitals and laboratories in Klang Valley. Descriptive analysis was performed to examine the sociodemographic characteristics, spatial mapping was conducted to examine trends, and the crude incidence rates of confirmed typhoid cases and percentage of reporting coverage were calculated. Significant differences between MDR and non-MDR Salmonella typhi were determined in the patient’s sociodemographic characteristics, which were analyzed using χ2 test. P values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: In total, 507 typhoid fever cases were reported in Klang Valley; however, only 265 cases were confirmed by culture tests. The crude incidence rates of confirmed cases were between 0.5 to 0.7 but peaked at 1.42 per 100,000 population in 2015. Most typhoid fever cases were observed among men (55.6%), individuals aged 21 to 30 years (27.6%), Malaysians (86.3%) and individuals of Malay ethnicity (52.1%). The reporting coverage of confirmed cases was 78.9% and non-reporting coverage of unconfirmed typhoid cases was 79.5%. The predictive value positive (PVP) was 89.3, and 7.5% were detected as MDR Salmonella typhi. Statistical significance was found in gender, citizenship and ethnicity regarding MDR Salmonella typhi (p = 0.004, p = 0.008 and p = 0.034, respectively).

Conclusions: The local transmission of typhoid is still prevalent in the Klang Valley despite rapid urbanization and development in recent years. These findings are essential for policy makers to plan and implement focused and effective preventative activities to curb typhoid infection in urban areas.

Click here to read the article, published in BMC Infectious Diseases.