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Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Oct;5(10):623-8.

Typhoid and paratyphoid fever in travellers.

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  • 1Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and the New York Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Enteric fever--a more inclusive term for typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever--is a systemic infection caused by Salmonella enterica, including S enterica serotype Typhi (S typhi) and serotype Paratyphi (S paratyphi). In developed countries there have been two major changes in the pattern of the disease: a marked decline in its incidence and its characterisation as a predominantly travel-associated disease. The risk to travellers appears to vary by geographic region visited, with travel to the Indian subcontinent accounting for the greatest travel risk. Although the most common cause of enteric fever is S typhi, the incidence of disease caused by S paratyphi among travellers may be more important, since the available vaccines only protect against S typhi. Descriptions of the clinical presentation in travellers are scarce but severe complications and death are rare, probably due to rapid access to readily available medical care. Drug resistance reflects the situation in endemic countries, and shows a steady increase in multidrug-resistance patterns. Currently, the recommendation for first-line therapy is ceftriaxone and, where isolates have been found to be quinolone sensitive, fluoroquinolones can still be given. Preventive measures are educating travellers about hygiene precautions and vaccination. With an increase in multidrug-resistant strains, a more effective vaccine for S typhi and S paratyphi is urgently needed.

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