Volume 62, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Melioidosis caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei is endemic in southeast Asia. The clinical manifestations range from wound infections to acute septicemia. In some cases, recurrence can also occur following complete recovery. Case fatality rates are high and a major factor is the delay in the culture and identification of the bacterium. An immunofluorescent assay (IFAT) using whole-cell antigen for the detection of total antibodies to B. pseudomallei was tested with 650 sera. Using a cut-off value of 1:80, 66 sera from culture-confirmed cases were positive with titers > or = 320. In another 523 sera from patients in which no other etiology could be found, 149 (23.4%) were positive. To monitor disease activity, persistence of antibody levels was investigated on 61 serial sera samples collected from 14 other confirmed cases on follow-up visits while on oral maintenance therapy. The IFAT demonstrated a reduction in titers in cases of localized infections, suggesting that either the infection was being resolved or arrested while septicemic patients maintained high IFAT titers on follow-up, suggesting the possibility of continuous sequestration of antigen from an intracellular source.


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