A monoclonal antibody-based latex agglutination (MAb-LA) test was employed for the rapid identification of Burkholderia pseudomallei in blood culture fluid from patients with community-acquired septicaemia. These patients were admitted to 12 hospitals in the northeastern part of Thailand which is a region known to be endemic for melioidosis. Blood samples were collected and immediately added to the blood culture bottles which were incubated in either automated (five hospitals) or manual (seven hospitals) culture systems. Of a total of 1369 culture-positive specimens, 204 specimens were culture-positive for B. pseudomallei. Of those, 194 (95%) were positive by MAb-LA and the type of blood culture system did not affect positivity rates. The performance of the MAb-LA test on these specimens was highly satisfactory compared with culture detection and confirmation by biochemical test, with 95.1% sensitivity, 99.7% specificity and 98.8% and 99.2% for positive and negative predictive values, respectively. The method described is highly reproducible, simple to perform even by inexperienced laboratory personnel and does not require expensive or elaborate equipment.