Melioidosis

Melioidosis

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s Disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

It is found in soil and polluted water.

It is of public health importance in endemic areas, particularly in northeast Thailand, Vietnam, and northern Australia.

Microbiological features of Burkholderia pseudomallei

  • Gram negative (-)
  • Motile
  • Rod Shaped Bacilli
  • Discovered by a scientist H.Burkholder
  • Incubation period – 10 days to Several years

Transmission

People can acquire the disease in 3 ways

  1. Inhalation : of contaminated dust
  2. Ingestion : of contaminated water
  3. Direct Contact of contaminated water or soil with skin abrasions – primary way people get infected

Clinical Features

Melioidosis is said to be affect any organ in the body.

  • Brain : Encephalitis
  • Lymph nodes : Lymphadenitis
  • Lungs : Pneumonia, with cavitation and Pleural effusions

Chronic localized infections can lead to abscess formation under the skin, psoas muscle, spleen, liver, lung or even in brain.

Diagnosis

  • Melioidosis is diagnosed by isolation of Burkholderia pseudomallei from sputum, blood, Urin, CSF, skin lesions or from abscesses – this is considered as the Gold Standard of diagnosing Meleoidosis
  • Serology
  • PCR

Treatment

  • Treatment is IV Ceftazidime, followed by a combined therapy of  co-trimoxazole and doxacillin.
  • Ceftazidime Resistant forms should be treated with Imipenum.
  • Prolonged treatment and continuous monitoring is necessary to avoid relapse.

Prevention

There is no vaccine available to prevent Meleoidosis.
People with diabetic and other chronic wounds should avoid reaching polluted water or soil to prevent direct contact with infectious agent.
Health care workers should wear masks and glows.

You can see the Complete Presentation on Melioidosis by clicking this link.

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