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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Mar;102(3):225-7. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2007.11.005. Epub 2007 Dec 31.

Advances and remaining uncertainties in the epidemiology of Burkholderia pseudomallei and melioidosis.

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  • 1Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, and Northern Territory Clinical School, Flinders University, Darwin, Northern Territory Australia.


Major advances have been made in molecular studies of Burkholderia pseudomallei and the immunology of melioidosis. However, there remain large gaps in understanding of the epidemiology of this enigmatic disease. Identified global distribution boundaries of melioidosis continue to expand. Recent data suggest Australian strains of B. pseudomallei may be ancestral to those from Southeast Asia, but the ecology of this environmental bacterium remains elusive. Despite the potential for rapidly progressive septicaemia, the critical virulence factors in B. pseudomallei remain to be clarified. Inhalation following aerosolization of B. pseudomallei may account for the high mortality when melioidosis occurs after severe weather events.

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