During the past few years great advances have been made in the early diagnosis of typhoid fever by the isolation of the bacillus through improved blood-culture methods. Though these methods facilitate the recovery of the bacillus, a well-equipped laboratory and a knowledge of bacteriologic technic are essential; therefore, in country districts, where there is no available laboratory, the practitioner is obliged to depend upon the agglutination test as an aid in diagnosis.
As a diagnostic measure, the agglutination test is now generally conceded to be unreliable, especially in the early days of the disease, being only occasionally positive before the end of the first week and not reaching its maximum until the third and fourth weeks. Thus out of 42 cases at the Charity Hospital of suspected typhoid, from which a specific organism was isolated, but 53.3 per cent. gave a positive Widal on admission, though the percentage of