Eight hundred and nine patients suspected of having typhoid/enteric fever were investigated. Enteric fever bacilli (Salmonella typhi and S. paratyphi) were cultured from stool samples of 128 (16%) patients. Serological evidence of typhoid fever was obtained in 83 (13%) of 620 of the patients examined by the Widal test. The antibody titres ranged from 1:160 to 1:1280. A higher proportion of paratyphoid infection over typhoid infection was recorded both by culture (56%) and by the Widal test (63%). The predominant serotype was paratyphi C. Non-typhoid Salmonellae were recovered from stool samples of 60 patients, comprising five serovars, namely, S. typhimurium-22 strains, S. enteritidis-15, S. hardar-9, S. virchow-5, S. bredeney-3, and 6 non-typable strains. Shigella sonnei and S. flexneri were detected in diarrhoeic and semi-formed stools of 19 (2.3%) of the typhoid suspects. It is clear from the results of the study that though typhoid is endemic in South-East Nigeria and the number of cases may rise at certain periods of the year, the news of a current wave of epidemic of typhoid seem unfounded.
The Journal of communicable diseases 07/1995; 27(2):97-100.