image of Hospitalized Bacteremic Melioidosis in Rural Thailand; 2009–2013
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Melioidosis incidence and mortality have reportedly been increasing in endemic areas of Thailand, but little population-based data on culture-confirmed infections exist. We provide updated estimates of melioidosis bacteremia incidence and in-hospital mortality rate using integration of two population-based surveillance databases in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, since automated blood culture became available in 2005. From 2009 to 2013, 564 hospitalized bacteremic melioidosis patients were identified. The annual incidence of bacteremic melioidosis ranged from 14 to 17 per 100,000 persons, and average population mortality rate was 2 per 100,000 persons per year. In-hospital mortality rate declined nonsignificantly from 15% (15/102) to 13% (15/118). Of 313 (56%) bacteremic melioidosis patients who met criteria for acute lower respiratory infection and were included in the hospital-based pneumonia surveillance system, 65% (202/313) had a chest radiograph performed within 48 hours of admission; 46% (92/202) showed radiographic evidence of pneumonia. Annual incidence of bacteremic melioidosis with pneumonia was 2.4 per 100,000 persons (95% confidence intervals; 1.9–2.9). In-hospital death was more likely among bacteremic melioidosis patients with pneumonia (34%; 20/59) compared with non-pneumonia patients (18%; 59/321) (value = 0.007). The overall mortality could have been as high as 46% (257/564) if patients with poor clinical condition at the time of discharge had died. The continued high incidence of bacteremic melioidosis, pneumonia, and deaths in an endemic area highlights the need for early diagnosis and treatment and additional interventions for the prevention and control for melioidosis.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Published online : 02 Apr 2018
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