Typhoid fever: misuse of Widal test in Libya
Keywords:Widal test, Typhoid Salmonella, diagnosis, Libya
The worldwide gold standard of diagnosing of enteric fever depends on the isolation of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi from a patient’s bone marrow and/or blood culture. In Libya clinicians are heavily dependent on the Widal test for diagnosis of enteric fever which has been used without determining the locally appropriate threshold titer, because the laboratories lack the skilled, experienced personnel and appropriate facilities to detect and serotype Salmonella isolates. To improve the diagnosis process, clinical management and reliability of public health measures, there is an urgent need for the effective training of laboratory technicians and to provide resources to culture Salmonella species according to published guidelines. Clinicians should understand the limitations of Widal test and recognize that it cannot be expected to give a reliable diagnosis.
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