Typhoid fever and HIV infection: a rare disease association in industrialized countries.Int J Infect Dis. 1998-1999 Winter; 3(2):105-8.IJ
Typhoid fever is still a global health problem, mainly in tropical and subtropical areas of the world and in developing countries, where relatively elevated morbidity and mortality rates still are present, mostly because of persisting poor hygienic conditions. In the majority of Mediterranean regions, including Italy, the disease is constantly present, though with a low prevalence rate, as a result of an endemic persistence of Salmonella typhi infection.1-4 On the other hand, in industrialized countries, most cases of S. typhi infection are related to foreign travel or prior residence in endemic countries.4-6 In the United States, 2445 cases of typhoid fever have been reported in the decade 1985 to 1994, and the annual number of cases remained relatively stable over time: over 70% of episodes were acquired in endemic countries (mostly Mexico and India).6 The persisting morbidity of S. typhi also may be supported by the increasing resistance rate of this pathogen against a number of commonly used antimicrobial compounds. For instance, 6% of 331 evaluable S. typhi strains were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and cotrimoxazole, and 22% of isolates were resistant to at least one of these three agents in a recent survey performed in the United States.6 The spread of antibiotic resistance among S. typhi isolates is emerging in many countries, and multidrug-resistant strains have been isolated, as well as isolates with poor susceptibility to fluoroquinolones,3-5,7-9 so that in vitro susceptibility should be determined for all cultured strains, and antimicrobial treatment should be adjusted accordingly. Nevertheless, fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin and pefloxacin) or third-generation cephalosporins, still represent the best choice for empirical treatment,2,4,6-8,10 and mortality remains rare in Western countries (less than 1% of episodes), although it is expected to be greater in developing areas of the world. The aim of this report is to describe two cases of typhoid fever that occurred in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, a rarely reported disease association in industrialized countries.