Focus on Melioidosis: Highlighted News and Research

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Melioidosis: The Most Neglected Tropical Disease

Why is Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, on listed on both the Health & Human Services and United States Drug Agency select agents lists? Ease of access to the soil- and water-dwelling microbe; the multiple possible infectious routes of inhalation, ingestion, or skin inoculation; the difficulty in diagnosing melioidosis due to the lack of disease-specific symptoms; the intrinsic antibiotic resistance of B. pseudomallei bacteria; and the high fatality rate associated with infection. American Society for Microbiology

Melioidosis Kills Half the People It Infects, But You’ve Probably Never Heard of It

Everyone knows about leptospirosis—a bacterial infection that can cause kidney disease—meningitis and pneumonia, but it’s rare for someone to know about melioidosis. Patients don’t know to ask about melioidosis, doctors can’t give a quick diagnosis and often governments don’t have enough data—or enough political will—to do anything about it. Quartz

Today’s Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Melioidosis

UCLA researchers worked with medical facilities in Laos and Cambodia, two countries where melioidosis, caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, is endemic, to correlate weather and transmission of the disease. Using regression analytical methods, researchers considered humidity, rainfall and wind speed in their analysis.  Defense Threat Reduction Agency via DVIDS

Tracking the Movement of a Deadly Pathogen and Biothreat Agent

Researchers plot how the bacterium responsible for Melioidosis has spread across the globe. Their findings are consistent with the modern-day organism originating from Australia. From there, it seems to have been introduced just once into Asia, but after that the story changes – with evidence for repeated spread between countries bordered by the Mekong river, and between Malaysia and Singapore. Sanger Institute

Burkholderia pseudomallei–– Immunoprevalent T-Cell Epitopes Recognized by Seropositive Healthy Donors

In this study, the cumulative response to Bp in healthy seropositive donors from an endemic region is, generally, of the order of some thousands of SFC/106 cells, making Bp antigen recognition a significant component of the T-cell repertoire. Frontiers in Immunology

Accuracy of the InBiOS AMD Rapid Diagnostic for Detection of B. pseudomallei Antigen

The InBiOS RDT is a lateral flow immunoassay in a strip format detecting B. pseudomallei capsular polysaccharide in culture fluids, marketed for research only. This study aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the InBiOS AMD RDT on grown blood culture broth sampled during routine patient care in a melioidosis-endemic setting and stored at − 80 °C. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases

Of Mice to Men: First Melioidosis Vaccine on the Horizon

Recently tested in mice, this two-part vaccine formulation stimulates both humoral and cellular immune responses to provide mice with a high-level protection and, importantly, sterilizing immunity, against an acute inhalational challenge of melioidosis.  Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Evaluation of a Rapid Diagnostic Test for Detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

This study prospectively evaluated the Active Melioidosis Detect (AMD; InBios International, USA) lateral flow immunoassay for rapid detection of B. pseudomallei in turbid blood cultures, pus, sputum, sterile fluid, urine, and sera. The performance of this test was compared to that of B. pseudomallei detection using monoclonal antibody latex agglutination and immunofluorescence assays, with culture as the gold standard. Journal of Clinical Microbiology

Performance Evaluation of Active Melioidosis Detect-Lateral Flow Assay (AMD-LFA) for Diagnosis of Melioidosis in Endemic Settings with Limited Resources

Witnessing an annual increment in the number of melioidosis cases, over the past few years, mainly from the developing tropical nations, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the diagnostic utility of Active Melioidosis Detect Lateral Flow Assay (AMD-LFA), in comparison with enrichment culture and PCR. A total of 206clinical specimens obtained from 175 patients with clinical suspicion of melioidosis were considered for the evaluation. PLOS One (.pdf)

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