Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Medical and travel history
Your doctor is likely to suspect typhoid fever based on your symptoms and your medical and travel history. But the diagnosis is usually confirmed by identifying S. typhi in a culture of your blood or other body fluid or tissue.
Body fluid or tissue culture
For the culture, a small sample of your blood, stool, urine or bone marrow is placed on a special medium that encourages the growth of bacteria. In 48 to 72 hours, the culture is checked under a microscope for the presence of typhoid bacteria. A bone marrow culture often is the most sensitive test for S. typhi.
Although performing a culture test is the mainstay for diagnosis, in some instances other testing may be used to confirm a suspected typhoid infection, such as a test to detect antibodies to typhoid bacteria in your blood or a test that checks for typhoid DNA in your blood.
- Brunette GW, et al. CDC Health Information for International Travel 2012. Atlanta, Ga.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 2012. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-2/typhoid-paratyphoid-fever.aspx. Accessed April 26, 2012.
- Typhoid fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/typhoid_fever/. Accessed April 18, 2012.
- Maurice J. A first step in bringing typhoid fever out of the closet. The Lancet. 2012;379:699.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..00316-X&isbn=978-1-4377-1604-7&sid=1301718288&uniqId=331385541-5#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..00316-X. Accessed April 26, 2012.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookHome&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4557-0738-6..C2009-0-38985-0--TOP&isbn=978-1-4557-0738-6&uniqId=331385541-3. Accessed April 26, 2012.
- Mayer CA, et al. Typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Australian Family Physician. 2010;39:847.
- Crump JA, et al. Global trends in typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2010;50:241.
- Humphries RL, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=55748503. Accessed April 27, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9113180. Accessed April 27, 2012.