Typhoid Fever in Santiago, Chile: A Study of Household Contacts of Pediatric Patients

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  • Division of Geographic Medicine and Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
  • | Ministry of Health, Santiago, Chile
  • | § Institute of Public Health, Santiago, Chile
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We obtained clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory data (including three stool cultures) from 155 (96%) of 161 household contacts of 24 patients < 16 years old with culture-confirmed typhoid fever; these 24 patients represented approximately 40% of such patients seen in three hospitals in Santiago during a 12-week period. A chronic typhoid carrier was identified in only one household, with concurrent or secondary cases seen in two other households. When index cases were matched with household members nearest in age, no specific risk factors for illness could be identified. There was evidence of generalized exposure to enteric pathogens within these households, with nine persons from seven different households culture-positive for non-typhoidal Salmonella, and nine, from eight different households, culture-positive for Shigella; transmission of these pathogens within households did not appear to be common since no household had more than one family member with the same serotype or species of either pathogen.