Melioidosis in Australia

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Melioidosis is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by the Gram-negative bacillus, Burkholderia pseudomallei following contact with a contaminated environmental source, normally soil or water in tropical and subtropical locations. The disease spectrum varies from rapidly progressive bacteraemic infection with or without pneumonia, to focal lesions in deep soft tissues and internal organs to superficial soft tissue infection and asymptomatic seroconversion with possible long-term dormancy. Most infections occur with a background of chronic illness such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and alcoholic liver disease. Improvements in diagnosis, targeted antimicrobial treatment and long term follow up have improved clinical outcomes. Environmental controls following rare point source case clusters and heightened awareness of melioidosis appear to have reduced the disease burden in some parts of northern Australia. However, the impact of climate change on dispersal of environmental B. pseudomallei, and changing land use in tropical Australia is expected to change the epidemiology of melioidosis in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-99
Number of pages4
JournalMicrobiology Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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