Melioidosis: an under-diagnosed entity in western coastal India: a clinico-microbiological analysis

Indian J Med Microbiol. 2007 Jul;25(3):245-8. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.34767.


Clinico-microbiological analysis of a series of 25 patients with culture proven melioidosis was done. All patients came from the coastal regions of Kerala and Karnataka and presented between June 2005 to July 2006. They were analysed with respect to clinical presentation, occupation, epidemiology and microbiological features. No single presenting clinical feature was found to be typical of melioidosis. The disease was found to mimic a variety of conditions, including tuberculosis and malignancy. Burkholderia pseudomallei was isolated from blood, sputum, pus, urine, synovial, peritoneal and pericardial fluids. Diabetes mellitus was the most common predisposing factor and 80% of the cases presented during the Southwest monsoon (June to September). It is probable that melioidosis is highly prevalent in western coastal India and yet, greatly underestimated. Better awareness, both among clinicians and microbiologists, coupled with improved diagnostic methods to allow early diagnosis and hence early treatment, will significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei / drug effects
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei / isolation & purification*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Disease Susceptibility / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Melioidosis / etiology
  • Melioidosis / microbiology*
  • Melioidosis / pathology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents