Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Is Typhoid And What Are It’s Main Causes

What Is Typhoid And What Are It’s Main Causes

What is Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is an acute illness associated with fever caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. It can also be caused by Salmonella paratyphi, a related bacterium that usually causes a less severe illness. The bacteria are deposited in water or food by a human carrier and are then spread to other people in the area.

Typhoid fever is a systemic infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype typhi, which is acquired by ingestion of contaminated food and water. Each year the disease affects at least 16 million persons world-wide, most of whom reside in the developing countries of Southeast Asia and Africa. In Italy the disease is uncommon with a greater number of cases in Southern regions than in Northern ones.
It is a common disease in the sub continent and affects all age groups. The poor hygiene conditions, open sanitation habits, flies, sale of exposed food, and illiteracy is responsible for this disease. The disease is transmitted from human to human via food or drinking water, and it is therefore mainly hygiene and sanitary conditions that determine its spread. Vaccines against typhoid fever are available, but they're only partially effective and are usually reserved for people who may be exposed to the disease or are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is endemic.

What are main causes of Typhoid?

Typhoid fever is caused by a virulent bacterium called Salmonella typhi. Although they're related, this isn't the same as the bacteria responsible for salmonellosis, another serious intestinal infection.


Salmonella (S.) is the genus name for a large number (over 2,500) of types of bacteria. Each type is distinctly identifiable by its specific protein coating. The types are otherwise closely related. Salmonella bacteria are rod-shaped, flagellated, Gram stain-negative and are known to cause disease in humans, animals, and birds (especially poultry) worldwide.

S. typhi are spread by contaminated food, drink, or water. Following ingestion, the bacteria spread from the intestine via the bloodstream to the intestinal lymph nodes, liver, and spleen via the blood where they multiply.
Salmonella may directly infect the gallbladder through the hepatic duct or spread to other areas of the body through the bloodstream.
Early symptoms are generalized and include fever, malaise and abdominal pain. As the disease progresses, the fever becomes higher (greater than 103 degrees Fahrenheit), and diarrhea becomes prominent. Weakness, profound fatigue, delirium, and an acutely ill appearance develop.
A rash, characteristic only of typhoid and called "rose spots," appears in some cases of typhoid. Rose spots are small (1/4 inch) red spots that appear most often on the abdomen and chest. Typically, children have milder disease and fewer complications than adults.

The bacteria that cause typhoid fever spread through contaminated food or water.

Some other causes of typhoid:

Typhoid fever can be caused in three main ways:

if contaminated sewage gets into the supply of drinking water,

if an infected person handles food without washing their hands properly, and
if bacteria is transferred to food by flies feeding on infected stools (faeces).

Infection is the most common cause :

Viral (e.g., influenza, HIV, hepatitis, herpes simplex encephalitis, mononucleosis, adenovirus)

Bacterial (e.g., pneumonia, endocarditis, tuberculosis, meningitis, pyelonephritis, appendicitis, cholecystitis, cellulitis)

Lyme disease




Intra-abdominal abscess
Malignancy :

Lymphoma (Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's)

Lymphoproliferative disorders

Renal cell carcinoma


Hepatocellular carcinoma
Rheumatologic disorders :

Temporal arteritis/giant cell arteritis

Adult-onset Still's disease

Systemic lupus erythematosus


Rheumatoid arthritis

Peter Hutch
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