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Introduction Typhoid fever is endemic in all parts of India and the Widal test is widely used for its diagnosis. In the endemic areas, the healthy people may contain antibodies which are capable of reacting up to a variable titre in the Widal test, due to a past exposure, TAB vaccination and cross reacting antigens. Therefore it varies widely from place to place and is referred to as the baseline titre of that area.
The aim of this study was to determine the average baseline titre of the apparently healthy population in the Jaipur region of Rajasthan, India.
Material and Methods Blood samples were collected from healthy volunteers over the period from June 2009 to September 2009 and they were analyzed for the presence of the Salmonella antibodies by carrying out the Widal tube agglutination test.
Results Among the 2164 serum specimens which were tested, 922 (42.6%) sera were found to be positive for the Widal test and 1242 were negative. The most frequently recorded titre of the reactive sera was 1:40 for the anti-O antibodies and it was 1:80 for the anti-H antibodies and this was the baseline titre for this region.
Conclusion Based on the above results of our study, it has been recommended that the cut-off titre of 1:80 for the anti-O antibodies and of 1:160 for the anti-H antibodies may be considered as diagnostic for enteric fever in the Jaipur region of Rajasthan, India.

Baseline titre
Widal agglutination test
Typhoid fever
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