A dot enzyme immunoassay (EIA) using 50-kD outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) of Salmonella typhi was compared with the Widal test for the serodiagnosis of typhoid fever in 109 febrile children admitted to a hospital in an endemic area. In the culture-positive typhoid group, the initial dot EIA was positive in 40 of 42 cases and the initial Widal test was positive in 41. In the culture-negative clinical typhoid group, both the dot EIA and the Widal test were positive in 17 of 18 cases. In the nontyphoidal fever group, the dot EIA was negative in all of 49 cases and the Widal test was negative in 44. With culture used as the gold standard, the dot EIA is as sensitive as the Widal test (95% vs. 98%), has a similar high negative predictive value (96% vs. 98%), and is more specific (75% vs. 67%). In addition, the dot EIA offers the advantages of simplicity, speed, early diagnosis, economy, and flexibility (i.e., other diagnostic tests can be conducted simultaneously).