Volume 56, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Melioidosis, an infection caused by , is endemic in southeast Asia. The septicemic form of melioidosis is the leading cause of death from nonhospital-acquired septicemia in the northeastern part of Thailand. A major factor that contributes to the high mortality is the delay in isolation and identification of the causative organism. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays based on an immunoaffinity-purified antigen for detecting specific IgG and IgM antibodies to this organism as a rapid serodiagnostic method for melioidosis. The diagnostic value of these tests was evaluated in an actual clinical situation in an area endemic for melioidosis. The specificity of specific IgG test (82.5%) and the specific IgM test (81.8%) were significantly better than that of the indirect hemagglutination (IHA) test (74.7%). The sensitivity of the specific IgG assay (85.7%) was higher than that of the IHA test (71.0%) and the specific IgM test (63.5%). Specific IgG antibody was detected in a majority of septicemic melioidosis (87.8%), as well as in localized forms (82.6%). The specific IgG test was also better than the specific IgM test and the IHA test in identifying acute melioidosis cases in the first five days after admission. In addition, the IgG antibody level to this antigen remained high over a period of more than five years in those who had recovered from melioidosis and remained clinically free of the disease. These results indicate that the detection of specific IgG antibody is clinically useful for the diagnosis of acute melioidosis in an endemic area.


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