Since Vi antigen is limited primarily to Salmonella typhi, it has been thought that detection of the antigen may be a useful method for diagnosing acute typhoid fever. The slide coagglutination method and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay have recently been suggested as ways to detect small quantities of Vi antigen in urine. In Santiago, Chile, we compared the results of these two methods in patients with acute typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and other febrile illnesses and in afebrile control subjects. Using a cut-off value that maximally separated typhoid patients from controls, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was positive in 62.4% of 141 patients with culture-proven typhoid infections and in 13.2% of 159 afebrile control subjects. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was false positive in 64.7% of 34 culture-proven paratyphoid A or B patients and 47.1% of 21 patients with other nontyphoidal febrile illnesses. The coagglutination test was positive in 34% of typhoid patients, 14% of afebrile control subjects, and 46% of febrile control subjects. We conclude that these tests when performed with the Vi antibodies employed in this study are of little value for the diagnosis of typhoid fever in this setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)