A 34-year-old woman presented two weeks after a visit to Burma with fever peaking up to 39 degrees C, chills, non-productive cough, headache, muscle pain, shortness of breath and a painful swelling on the left lower leg. She was treated immediately with intravenous amoxycillin-clavulanic acid. The Gram negative causative agent of melioidosis, Burkholderia (previously Pseudomonas) pseudomallei, was cultured from samples taken beforehand. The patient then received ceftazidime. She recovered. In view of the risk of relapse she was treated with amoxycillin-clavulanic acid for a further six months. Melioidosis is endemic in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. It is rarely seen outside these areas. The clinical spectrum of the disease is wide and varies from fulminating sepsis to a subclinical disease and may affect any organ system, usually the lungs. The mortality of the septicaemic form after adequate treatment is 40%. Surviving patients have a high relapse rate (4-20%). Melioidosis can become chronic with formation of abscesses or can remain subclinical for many years, probably because the microorganism can survive within phagocytic cells with a risk of reactivation at moments of immunosuppression. The optimal treatment consists of ceftazidime intravenously for at least two weeks followed by an eradication phase consisting of oral antibiotics for at least 3 months.