Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Medical and travel history

Your doctor is likely to suspect typhoid fever based on your symptoms and your medical and travel history. But the diagnosis is usually confirmed by identifying S. typhi in a culture of your blood or other body fluid or tissue.

Body fluid or tissue culture

For the culture, a small sample of your blood, stool, urine or bone marrow is placed on a special medium that encourages the growth of bacteria. In 48 to 72 hours, the culture is checked under a microscope for the presence of typhoid bacteria. A bone marrow culture often is the most sensitive test for S. typhi.

Although performing a culture test is the mainstay for diagnosis, in some instances other testing may be used to confirm a suspected typhoid infection, such as a test to detect antibodies to typhoid bacteria in your blood or a test that checks for typhoid DNA in your blood.

Aug. 22, 2012

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