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Melioidosis (cont.)

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How is melioidosis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of melioidosis is made with a microscopic evaluation of a blood, urine, sputum, or skin-lesion sample in the laboratory. A blood test is useful to detect early acute cases of melioidosis, but it can not exclude the illness if it is negative.

How is melioidosis treated?

The treatment of melioidosis involves antibiotics and depends on the location of the disease.

For patients with more mild illness, the CDC recommends antibiotics such as imipenem, penicillin, doxycycline, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ceftazidime, ticarcillin-clavulanic acid, ceftriaxone, and aztreonam. Patients who are more severely ill are given a combination of two of the above for three to six months.

With pulmonary involvement of melioidosis, if cultures remain positive for six months, surgical removal of the lung abscess with lobectomy is considered.

Can melioidosis be prevented?

In counties where melioidosis occurs, people with compromised immune systems (such as AIDS, cancer, those undergoing chemotherapy, etc.) should avoid contact with soil and contaminated water, especially in farm areas.

What is the prognosis for melioidosis?

Untreated, melioidosis is fatal. When treated with antibiotics, severe forms of the illness have an overall mortality rate of approximately 40%.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
"Melloidosis: risk factors" Centers for Disease Control
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/12/2013


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