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Can CBC test detect typhoid?

Can CBC test detect typhoid

Typhoid is one of the most important health concerns across the globe. It is said that a complete blood count test can help detect typhoid fever, but whether it is true also? 

Keep reading this article to get your answer. We will also cover in-depth CBC blood tests, their cost, test results, etc. 

What is a CBC test?

CBC The Complete Blood Count is a blood test to check your overall health and diagnose various disorders like anemia, infection, leukemia, etc. 

So, what does CBC do? It measures several components of your blood: 

  • Red Blood Cells that carry oxygen 
  • White Blood Cells which fight against infection 
  • Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in RBC
  • Platelets that help with blood clotting     

Why is it done?  

There could be various reasons why your doctor may ask you to undergo a CBC test:

  • To assess your overall health. 
  • To diagnose a medical condition. 
  • To monitor a medical condition or medical treatment.  

Can CBC diagnose typhoid? 

We saw above that CBC detects various disorders such as anemia, leukemia, etc. Or, in simple words, check your overall health. So, does it also help diagnose typhoid?   

The complete blood test (CBC) tests carried out during typhoid will only show an increase in white blood cells (WBCs). However, more specific tests like the Widal test, IgM test, real-time PCR, and blood culture are required to confirm the diagnosis of typhoid fever.

  • IgM: this test can detect typhoid fever after two to three days of symptoms onset. It detects the IgM antibodies specific to the bacterium Salmonella typhi. 
  • Real-time PCR: It is a molecular test used to diagnose typhoid fever. The test is done during the first five days of the beginning of symptoms. 
  • Blood culture: It is a standard test to detect typhoid fever; it requires the isolation and identification of the bacteria from your sample. The test provides the best results when performed within one week of the symptoms’ arrival. 

Is beforehand fasting required during the CBC test? 

Sometimes doctors may suggest fasting as it affects a few blood tests. Fasting before certain blood tests is crucial because it ensures the accuracy of your test results. So, the question arises, is fasting required for a CBC blood test?  

The answer is that not all blood tests will require you to fast beforehand. And CBC belongs to those categories of blood tests that do not require fasting. In other words, you can eat and normally drink before the test if your blood test is being tested only for Complete Blood Count. 

However, if your blood sample is to be used for further tests, your doctor may suggest you fast for certain hours before the test. 

CBC Test Results 

So, what does the report include? How to understand CBC blood test results?

You will see two columns in your test report: your results and a ‘reference range.’ Results inside the reference range are considered normal and abnormal if results are higher or lower than the reference range.

But it is also a fact that every lab has its different way of studying your blood. Hence, the reference range also depends on the lab conducting your blood tests. It also depends on factors like age, sex, and how high above sea level you live, as these factors can affect your blood. 

So, what are the reference ranges? In general, the reference ranges are: 

  • WBC: WBC range is 4,500 to 11,000 cells per microliter (cells/mcL) 
  • RBC: 4.5 million to 5.9 million cells/mcL for males,

The range for women is 4.1 million to 5.1 million cells/mcL.

  • Hemoglobin: 14 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (gm/dL) for men; 

12.3 to 15.3 gm/dL for women.

  • Hematocrit: 41.5% to 50.4% for men;

   35.9% to 44.6% for women

  • Platelets: 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/mcL

So, how long does it take for CBC test results? CBC results arrive within 24 hours in your doctor’s hands. 

The CBC test cost is Rs. 250 at Grace Laboratory in Vadodara. 

Bottom line:

In conclusion, CBC is not a completely reliable test to detect typhoid; even if you conduct a CBC test during typhoid, it will show an increase in your white blood cells. The Blood Culture test is the best to confirm the diagnosis of typhoid fever. 

For more information regarding CBC tests and typhoid fever, visit us at Grace Laboratory

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