Author(s): Khan S, Harish BN, Menezes GA, Acharya NS, Parija SC
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Abstract BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Typhoid fever caused by Salmonella Typhi continues to be a major health problem in spite of the use of antibiotics and the development of newer antibacterial drugs. Inability to make an early laboratory diagnosis and resort to empirical therapy, often lead to increased morbidity and mortality in cases of typhoid fever. This study was aimed to optimize a nested PCR for early diagnosis of typhoid fever and using it as a diagnostic tool in culture negative cases of suspected typhoid fever. METHODS: Eighty patients with clinical diagnosis of typhoid fever and 40 controls were included in the study. The blood samples collected were subjected to culture, Widal and nested PCR targeting the flagellin gene of S. Typhi. RESULTS: The sensitivity of PCR on blood was found to be 100 per cent whereas the specificity was 76.9 per cent. The positive predictive value (PPV) of PCR was calculated to be 76.9 per cent with an accuracy of 86 per cent. None of the 40 control samples gave a positive PCR. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: Due to its high sensitivity and specificity nested PCR can be used as a useful tool to diagnose clinically suspected, culture negative cases of typhoid fever.
This article was published in Indian J Med Res
and referenced in Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis