Typhoid fever in ethiopian immigrants to israel and native-born israelis: A comparative study

Yehuda Carmeli*, Raul Raz, Jonathan M. Schapiro, Michael Alkan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Typhoid fever remains a major cause of mortality in developing countries, with a case-fatality rate (CFR) of 12%–32%, whereas in developed countries this rate has successfully been reduced to <2%. The cause of this high CFR in developing countries was investigated by studying two populations of patients who had typhoid fever during the years 1984–1985: Ethiopian Jews who were infected in Africa (a region with a high CFR) and treated in Israel (a region with a low CFR) and native-born Israelis. The causative organisms were of similar phage types. Among 121 Ethiopian Jews there were two fatalities (CFR, 1.65%), and among 204 native-born Israelis there were three fatalities (CFR, 1.47%). Findings of the clinical course and treatment were similar for 15 Ethiopian Jews and 14 native-born Israelis and consistent with those of reports from developed countries. We conclude that the high CFR for typhoid fever in Africa is due to delayed hospitalization and treatment rather than to differences in host factors or in the virulence of the pathogen and that mortality can be reduced by hastening hospitalization and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-215
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


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