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CASE REPORT
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-111

Melioidosis: Can tropical infections present in nonendemic areas? A case report and review of the literature


Department of Internal Medicine, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Sara M Alwarthan
Department of Internal Medicine, King Fahd Hospital of the University, P. O. Box 2208, Al-Khobar 31952
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_118_16

PMID: 30787831

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Melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an important cause of sepsis in tropical areas of Eastern Asia, mainly affecting immunocompromised adults. Diabetes mellitus is the most important host risk factor. Here, we report a case of a 54-year-old Saudi male with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus for 10 years who presented to our hospital with a 6-week history of fever, cough, night sweats and weight loss. Definite diagnosis of melioidosis was not made because of insufficient facility to culture the organism in our laboratory; nevertheless, the diagnosis of melioidosis was made based on the cumulative clinical scenario. The patient was discharged with a prescription of trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole and doxycycline for 3 months and showed dramatic improvement at follow-up. For prompt diagnosis and treatment, clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion for melioidosis in febrile patients with a history of traveling to endemic areas, especially diabetic patients. Melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, is an important cause of sepsis in tropical areas of Eastern Asia, mainly affecting immunocompromised adults. Diabetes mellitus is the most important host risk factor. Here, the authors report a case of a 54-year-old Saudi male with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus for 10 years who presented to our hospital with a 6-week history of fever, cough, night sweats and weight loss. The patient was a frequent traveler to the Philippines, with his last visit being during the rainy season 2 weeks before the onset of symptoms. Definite diagnosis of melioidosis was not made because of insufficient facility to culture the organism in our laboratory; nevertheless, a diagnosis of melioidosis was made based on the cumulative clinical scenario. The patient was discharged on trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole and doxycycline for 3 months and showed significant improvement at follow-up. For prompt diagnosis and treatment, clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion for melioidosis in febrile patients with a history of traveling to endemic areas, especially diabetic patients.


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