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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1992 Nov-Dec;86(6):683-5.

Septicaemic melioidosis: a review of 50 cases from Malaysia.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Fifty cases of septicaemic melioidosis were reviewed. There was a preponderance of disease among males (male:female ratio 3.2:1) and those aged over 30 years. The presenting clinical features were very varied and not pathognomonic, ranging from fever, cough and septicaemia to fulminant septicaemia and shock. Pulmonary involvement was recorded in 58% of the patients. Skin and soft tissue sepsis was seen in 24%, but many had signs and symptoms of multiorgan involvement. Associated underlying illness was identified in 76% of patients, diabetes mellitus being the commonest (38%), while 34% had more than one predisposing factor. The mortality of 65% in our series is a reflection of the less than satisfactory status of the diagnosis and therapy of septicaemic melioidosis. Only 24% of our patients received appropriate empirical antibiotic therapy. A high index of suspicion of melioidosis in endemic areas and the use of appropriate empirical antimicrobial therapy would be a step towards reducing the high mortality rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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