Quantitation of bacteria in blood of typhoid fever patients and relationship between counts and clinical features, transmissibility, and antibiotic resistance.
Wain J., Diep TS., Ho VA., Walsh AM., Nguyen TT., Parry CM., White NJ.
Salmonella typhi was isolated from 369 and Salmonella paratyphi A was isolated from 6 of 515 Vietnamese patients with suspected enteric fever. Compared with conventional broth culture of blood, direct plating of the buffy coat had a diagnostic sensitivity of 99.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 97.1 to 100%). Blood bacterial counts were estimated by the pour plate method. The median S. typhi count in blood was 1 CFU/ml (range, <0.3 to 387 CFU/ml), of which a mean of 63% (95% CI, 58 to 67%) were intracellular. The mean number of bacteria per infected leukocyte was 1.3 (interquartile range [IQR], 0.7 to 2.4) CFU/cell (n = 81). Children (< 15 years old; n = 115) had higher median blood bacterial counts than adults (n = 262): 1.5 (range, <0.3 to 387) versus 0.6 (range, <0.3 to 17.7) CFU/ml (P = 0.008), and patients who excreted S. typhi in feces had higher bacteremias than those who did not: a median of 3 (range, <0.3 to 32) versus 1 (range, <0.3 to 68) CFU/ml (P = 0.02). Blood bacterial counts declined with increasing duration of illness (P = 0.002) and were higher in infections caused by multidrug-resistant S. typhi (1.3 [range, <0.3 to 387] CFU/ml; n = 313) than in infections caused by antibiotic-sensitive S. typhi (0.5 [range, <0.3 to 32] CFU/ml; n = 62) (P = 0.006). In a multivariate analysis this proved to be an independent association, suggesting a relationship between antibiotic resistance and virulence in S. typhi.