A case report of Tubo-ovarian abscess caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei

BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 8;18(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-2986-z.


Background: Melioidosis, the disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei is endemic in the Northeastern part of Thailand, South-East Asia, and Northern Australia. The pelvic involvement of disease is rare even in an endemic area. Therefore, we describe in this report the clinical presentation, management, and outcome of the patient with primary tubo-ovarian abscess due to melioidosis.

Case presentation: A 31-year-old Thai cassava farmer woman presented with fever and abdominal pain at left lower quadrant for one month. She also had pain, swelling, and redness of the genitalia without any ulcer. She had odorless whitish vaginal discharge. The pelvic examination revealed excitation pain on the left side of her cervix. Transvaginal ultrasonography revealed a large left tubo-ovarian abscess size 9.4 × 4.8 cm located at anterior of the uterus. Urgent exploratory laparotomy revealed left hydrosalpinx with a large amount of pus. The pus culture grew Burkholderia pseudomallei. The computer tomography of the abdomen revealed multiple hepatosplenic abscesses. The patient underwent left salpingo-oophorectomy and pus drainage. The pathological examination of excised left adnexa revealed chronic and acute suppurative inflammation with necrotic tissue. She was given intravenous ceftazidime for one month, and her clinical symptom improved. She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus at this visit and treated with insulin injection. She continued to take oral co-trimoxazole for 20 weeks. The final diagnosis was disseminated melioidosis with left tubo-ovarian abscess and hepatosplenic abscesses in a newly diagnosed morbidly obese diabetic patient.

Conclusion: Burkholderia pseudomallei should be considered as the causative organism of gynecologic infection among patient with risk factor resided in an endemic area who do not respond to standard antibiotics. The pus culture from the site of infection is the only diagnostic method of pelvic melioidosis, appropriate antibiotics, and adequate surgical drainage were the components of the successful outcome.

Keywords: Burkholderia pseudomallei; Melioidosis; Ovarian abscess; Pelvic inflammatory disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Abscess / drug therapy
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Australia
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei / pathogenicity*
  • Ceftazidime / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melioidosis / diagnosis*
  • Melioidosis / drug therapy*
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Suppuration / complications
  • Suppuration / microbiology
  • Thailand
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination
  • Ceftazidime