Association between specific plasmids and relapse in typhoid fever

E. Gotuzzo, J. G. Morris, L. Benavente, P. K. Wood, O. Levine, R. E. Black, M. M. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We studied isolates from 73 patients hospitalized with typhoid fever in Lima, Peru. Of these 73 patients, 11 (15%) suffered a clinical relapse, with fever and positive blood cultures, within 3 months of their original illness. Using plasmids as epidemiologic markers, we found that three patients who subsequently relapsed were initially infected with more than one strain of Salmonella typhi. There was a highly significant association between relapse and isolation of a strain containing either a 24- or 38-kilobase plasmid at the time of the original infection; however, we were unable to show any evidence of homology between these two plasmids. Our data indicate that infection with multiple strains is not uncommon in this endemic area and suggest that relapse may be partly strain dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1779-1781
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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