Typhoid fever caused by Salmonella typhi, paratyphi A and B, is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in many developing countries. A rapid and sensitive method for the detection of S. typhi is essential for early diagnosis of typhoid fever and effective therapy. In this study 45 febrile patients who were suspected to have enteric fever were enrolled, and the results of blood cultures, widal agglutination tests and Polymerase Chain Reaction in these cases were evaluated. Group I consisted of 11 patients with diseases other than salmonella infections, group II represented 6 patients with positive cultures, and group III represented 28 patients with negative blood cultures negative but who were clinically suspected cases that had a medical history of using variable antimicrobial agents. Two positive PCR results were present; one of them was in culture positive group (16,6%) and the other was in culture negative group (3,5%). In our study widal agglutination tests and cultures were found not to be helpful in differential dignosis. Although PCR based detection of S. typhi is reported to be a sensitive and specific test for the diagnosis of enteric fever, in our study the benefit of this method in the diagnosis of especially patients who were treated with antimicrobial therapy was not clearly determined. Other methods to increase sensitiviy and specificity to levels such as those of real time PCR should be developed and large-scaled studies should be done in endemic and non-epidemic regions.
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