Typhoid Fever in South Africa in an Endemic HIV Setting
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Typhoid Fever in South Africa in an Endemic HIV Setting

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      PLoS One
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    • Description:

      Typhoid fever remains an important disease in Africa, associated with outbreaks and the emerging multidrug resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (Salmonella Typhi) haplotype, H58. This study describes the incidence of, and factors associated with mortality due to, typhoid fever in South Africa, where HIV prevalence is high.

      Methods and Findings

      Nationwide active laboratory-based surveillance for culture-confirmed typhoid fever was undertaken from 2003–2013. At selected institutions, additional clinical data from patients were collected including age, sex, HIV status, disease severity and outcome. HIV prevalence among typhoid fever patients was compared to national HIV seroprevalence estimates. The national reference laboratory tested Salmonella Typhi isolates for antimicrobial susceptibility and haplotype. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression analyses were conducted determining factors associated with typhoid fever mortality. We identified 855 typhoid fever cases: annual incidence ranged from 0.11 to 0.39 per 100,000 population. Additional clinical data were available for 369 (46.8%) cases presenting to the selected sites. Among typhoid fever patients with known HIV status, 19.3% (29/150) were HIV-infected. In adult females, HIV prevalence in typhoid fever patients was 43.2% (19/44) versus 15.7% national HIV seroprevalence (P < .001); in adult males, 16.3% (7/43) versus 12.3% national HIV seroprevalence (P = .2). H58 represented 11.9% (22/185) of Salmonella Typhi isolates tested. Increased mortality was associated with HIV infection (AOR 10.7; 95% CI 2.3–50.3) and disease severity (AOR 9.8; 95% CI 1.6–60.0) on multivariate analysis.


      Typhoid fever incidence in South Africa was largely unchanged from 2003–2013. Typhoid fever mortality was associated disease severity. HIV infection may be a contributing factor. Interventions mandate improved health care access, including to HIV management programmes as well as patient education. Further studies are necessary to clarify relationships between HIV infection and typhoid fever in adults.

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