Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Trends and disease burden of enteric fever in Guangxi province, China, 1994–2004

Bai-Qing Dong, Jin Yang, Xuan-Yi Wang, Jian Gong, Lorenz von Seidlein, Ming-Liu Wang, Mei Lin, He-Zhuang Liao, R Leon Ochiai, Zhi-Yi Xu, Luis Jodar & John D Clemens

Objective

To determine the burden of enteric fever through trends in morbidity and mortality, bacterial species and antimicrobial resistance in Guangxi, a southern, subtropical, coastal province of China with a disproportionally large burden of enteric fever.

Methods

Data on morbidity and mortality caused by enteric fever between 1994 and 2004 were extracted from the Guangxi Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Laboratory-based surveillance and outbreak investigations were integrated with reports of notifiable infectious diseases to estimate the bacterial species-specific incidence of enteric fever. To adjust for underreporting, survey data were collected from three prefectures that represent the hyper-, moderate- and low-endemic regions of Guangxi province.

Findings

In Guangxi province, enteric fever incidence rate varied over the study period, with a peak of 13.5 cases per 100 000 population in 1995 and a low of 6.5 in 2003. The disease occurred most frequently during the summer and autumn months and in the group aged 10–49 years. The incidence of enteric fever varied by region within Guangxi province. During the 11-year period covered by the study, 61 outbreaks of enteric fever were reported, and Salmonella paratyphi A (SPA) became the predominant causative agent in the province.

Conclusion

Prospective studies may provide a better understanding of the reason for the shifting epidemiology of enteric fever in Guangxi province. Given the emergence of resistance to first- and second-line antimicrobials for the treatment of enteric fever, a bivalent vaccine against both SPA and S. typhi would facilitate for disease control.

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