Are stool culture, urine culture, and cultures of rose spots useful in the detection of Salmonella typhi (S typhi) in suspected typhoid fever (enteric fever)?

Updated: Aug 19, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Stool culture alone yields a sensitivity of less than 50%, and urine culture alone is even less sensitive. Cultures of punch-biopsy samples of rose spots reportedly yield a sensitivity of 63% and may show positive results even after administration of antibiotics. A single rectal swab culture upon hospital admission can be expected to detect S typhi in 30%-40% of patients. S typhi has also been isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid, peritoneal fluid, mesenteric lymph nodes, resected intestine, pharynx, tonsils, abscess, and bone, among others.


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