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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1999 Mar;60(3):458-61.

Epidemiology of Burkholderia pseudomallei in Thailand.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Songkla, Thailand.


The distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei in soil collected from four regions of Thailand and the frequency of B. pseudomallei infections in patients attending government hospitals throughout Thailand in 1997 were surveyed. A total of 3,585 soil samples collected from 896 sites in four regions of Thailand were cultured for B. pseudomallei using selective enrichment broth and modified Ashdown's agar. The organism was recovered in 4.4%, 6.1%, 20.4%, and 5.9% of the soil samples collected from the northern, central, northeastern, and southern regions, respectively, of Thailand (P < 0.0001). Burkholderia pseudomallei was cultured from 50.1% of the sites in the northeastern region compared with 13.8%, 24.5%, and 18.4% in the northern, central, and southern regions, respectively (P < 0.0001). The infection rate in patients attending government hospitals in the northeastern region (137.9 per 100,000 inpatients) was significantly higher than those in the northern (18 per 100,000 inpatients), central (13.4 per 100,000 inpatients), and southern (14.4 per 100,000 inpatients) regions, respectively (P < 0.0001). It is suggested that melioidosis, which is endemic in Thailand, is associated with the presence of B. pseudomallei in soil.

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