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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2013 Jun;14(3):319-21. doi: 10.1089/sur.2011.136. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Intra-abdominal melioidosis masquerading as a tubercular abdomen: report of a rare case and literature review.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.



Melioidosis, caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, an important human pathogen in tropical regions, has protean multi-system clinical manifestations.


Case report and review of pertinent English-language literature.


A 33-year-old male, who had been treated for pulmonary tuberculosis and multiple splenic abscesses four years previously, presented with a five-day history of acute-onset high-grade fever, abdominal pain and distension, and dyspnea. Laparotomy and drainage was done for paraumbilical abdominal wall abscess. Omentectomy was performed because the omentum was infarcted and studded with tubercles. Pus culture was positive for B. pseudomallei. The patient developed septic shock and succumbed on the fifth day after surgery.


This report emphasizes an unusual presentation of melioidosis and the diagnostic challenge posed by its clinical similarity to tuberculosis.

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