Published: 2017-07-26

Sero-prevalence of Salmonella typhi antibodies among adult residents of some selected rural communities of Abia and Enugu States, Southeast Nigeria: a cross-sectional study

Emmanuel I. Umegbolu


Background: Salmonella typhi (S. typhi) antibodies may be considered as biomarkers of typhoid fever, a severe febrile systemic illness caused by an invasive Gram-negative Bacterium S. typhi. Worldwide, about 21-26.9 million cases of typhoid fever and 200 000-215 000 deaths, occur annually. Between 2003 and 2005, statistics have shown a rising trend in the incidence of typhoid fever in Abia and Enugu States. The aim of the study was to determine the sero-prevalence of S. typhi antibodies in some rural communities of Abia and Enugu States as proxy indicators of prevalence typhoid fever (TF) in the two states.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of the sero-prevalence of S. typhi antibodies in ten rural communities of Umunneochi Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia State and Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State using 421 (200 in Abia and 221 in Enugu) blood samples for the Widal test to determine the titres of these antibodies.

Results: In the Abia communities the mean sero-prevalence of S. typhi antibodies was 68.2%, while in Enugu it was 87.1%. Between the two states, difference in the sero-prevalence of S. typhi antibodies was significant (p=0.03).

Conclusions: The sero-prevalence of S. typhi antibodies was higher (87.1%) in the Enugu communities, compared to the Abia communities (68.2%). To reduce the incidence and prevalence of TF in the communities, access to safe domestic water, improved sanitation and good food hygiene needs to be improved. Health-seeking behaviour also needs improvement.



Abia, Antibodies, Enugu, Prevalence, S. typhi, Typhoid

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