Melioidosis (Whitmore's Disease)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Melioidosis facts
- What is melioidosis? What causes melioidosis?
- What are risk factors for melioidosis?
- What are signs and symptoms of melioidosis?
- Is melioidosis contagious?
- What specialists treat melioidosis?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose melioidosis?
- What is the incubation period for melioidosis?
- Where does melioidosis occur?
- What is the treatment for melioidosis?
- Is it possible to prevent melioidosis?
- What is the prognosis for melioidosis?
- Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei.
- Melioidosis infection commonly involves the lungs.
- Melioidosis is diagnosed with the help of blood, urine, sputum, or skin-lesion testing.
- Melioidosis is treated with antibiotics.
- The overall mortality rate is 40%.
What is melioidosis? What causes melioidosis?
Melioidosis, also called Whitmore's Disease, is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Burkholderia pseudomallei (previously known as Pseudomonas pseudomallei). The bacteria are found in contaminated water and soil and spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source. The bacteria are also of some concern as a potential agent for biological warfare and biological terrorism.
Melioidosis is similar to glanders disease, which is passed to humans from infected domestic animals.
What are risk factors for melioidosis?
Risk factors for developing melioidosis infection include
- living in Southeast Asia and northern Australia,
- alcohol abuse,
- chronic renal disease,
- chronic lung disease,
- liver disease,
- kava consumption,
- cancer or another immune-suppressing condition not related to HIV, and
- chronic lung disease (such as cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or (COPD), and bronchiectasis).
Other possible risk factors that may contribute to infection with melioidosis include steroid and other immunosuppressive therapy, rheumatic heart disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hemosiderosis, chronic granulomatous disease, and tuberculosis.
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