Salmonella typhi was isolated from 369 and Salmonella paratyphi A was isolated from 6 of 515 Vietnamese patients with suspected enteric fever. Compared with conventional broth culture of blood, direct plating of the buffy coat had a diagnostic sensitivity of 99.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 97.1 to 100%). Blood bacterial counts were estimated by the pour plate method. The median S. typhi count in blood was 1 CFU/ml (range, <0.3 to 387 CFU/ml), of which a mean of 63% (95% CI, 58 to 67%) were intracellular. The mean number of bacteria per infected leukocyte was 1.3 (interquartile range [IQR], 0.7 to 2.4) CFU/cell (n = 81). Children (< 15 years old; n = 115) had higher median blood bacterial counts than adults (n = 262): 1.5 (range, <0.3 to 387) versus 0.6 (range, <0.3 to 17.7) CFU/ml (P = 0.008), and patients who excreted S. typhi in feces had higher bacteremias than those who did not: a median of 3 (range, <0.3 to 32) versus 1 (range, <0.3 to 68) CFU/ml (P = 0.02). Blood bacterial counts declined with increasing duration of illness (P = 0.002) and were higher in infections caused by multidrug-resistant S. typhi (1.3 [range, <0.3 to 387] CFU/ml; n = 313) than in infections caused by antibiotic-sensitive S. typhi (0.5 [range, <0.3 to 32] CFU/ml; n = 62) (P = 0.006). In a multivariate analysis this proved to be an independent association, suggesting a relationship between antibiotic resistance and virulence in S. typhi.