Trends, associations, and antimicrobial resistance of salmonella typhi and paratyphi in Pakistan

Document Type



Women and Child Health; Pathology and Microbiology; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Typhoid remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in endemic countries. This review analyzed typhoid burden changes in Pakistan and its association with contextual factors. A retrospective cohort study on blood culture-positive typhoid and antibiotic resistance was conducted from three tertiary hospitals and contextual factor data obtained from primary household surveys. Salmonella Typhi/Paratyphi positivity rates were estimated and trend analysis was carried out using positive cases out of total number of blood cultures performed. Contextual factors' associations were determined through bivariate correlation analysis, using STATA (SataCorp, College Station, TX). We report a total of 17,387 S. Typhi-positive and 8,286 S. Paratyphi A and B-positive specimens from 798,137 blood cultures performed. The results suggest an overall decline in typhoid incidence as S. Typhi positivity rates declined from 6.42% in 1992 to 1.32% in 2015 and S. Paratyphi (A and B) from 1.29% to 0.39%. Subgroup analysis suggests higher S. Typhi prevalence in adults older than 18 years, whereas S. Paratyphi is greater in children aged 5-18 years. The relative contribution of S. Paratyphi to overall confirmed cases increased from 16.8% in 1992 to 23% in 2015. The analysis suggests high burden of fluoroquinolone resistance and multidrug-resistant S. Typhi strains. Statistically significant associations of water, sanitation indicators, and literacy rates were observed with typhoid positivity. Despite some progress, typhoid remains endemic and a strong political will is required for targeted typhoid control strategies. A multipronged approach of improving water, sanitation and hygiene in combination with large-scale immunization in endemic settings of Pakistan could help reduce burden and prevent epidemics.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene