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Chest. 1995 Nov;108(5):1420-4.

Pulmonary melioidosis.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center, USA.


Melioidosis is the name given to all diseases caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas pseudomallei. Melioidosis is a tropical disease and prevails in parts of Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and Central and South America. However, in recent years, cases of melioidosis have been reported in the United States and other areas. The organism can infect any organ system, although the lung is the most common organ affected. Pulmonary melioidosis presents either as an acute fulminant pneumonia or as an indolent cavitary disease. In northeastern Thailand, the incidence of P pseudomallei infection is extremely high with significant mortality. One of the key problems with treating melioidosis is its recalcitrance to therapy and high relapse rate. In addition, this Gram-negative rod is resistant to aminoglycosides. In nonendemic regions, patients with melioidosis more typically present with reactivation disease occurring months to years after initial exposure to the organism. The pulmonary disease is mainly in the apices and resembles tuberculosis. With the increasing mobility of people throughout the world and the influx of immigrants from endemic to nonendemic areas, it is important that clinicians be aware of this disease. This article will review the epidemiology, clinical presentations, diagnosis, and treatment of pulmonary melioidosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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