Widal test

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The Widal test is a serological test for Enteric fever. It is a demonstration of salmonella agglutinating antibodies against antigens O-somatic and H-flagellar in the blood. It is used as a presumptive diagnostic test for Enteric fever. However, it is not a very accurate method, since patients are often exposed to other bacteria (e.g. Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhimurium) in this species that induce cross-reactivity; many people have antibodies against these enteric pathogens, which also react with the antigens in the Widal test, causing a false-positive result. Test results need to be interpreted carefully in the light of past history of enteric fever, typhoid vaccination, general level of antibodies in the populations in endemic areas of the world. Typhidot is the other test used to ascertain the diagnosis of typhoid fever. As with all serological tests, the rise in antibody levels needed to make the diagnosis takes 7-14 days, which limits their use. Other means of diagnosing Salmonella typhi (and paratyphi) include cultures of blood, urine and feces. The organism also produces H2S from thiosulfate.

See also

Georges-Fernand Widal