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Melioidosis from Contaminated Bore Water and Successful UV Sterilization

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  • Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia; Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; Infectious Diseases Department, Northern Territory Medical Program, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Two cases of melioidosis at a residence in rural northern Australia were linked to the unchlorinated domestic bore (automated well) water supply, which was found to have a high concentration of Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using multilocus sequence typing, clinical B. pseudomallei isolates from both cases were identical to an isolate from the bore water supply. A simple UV sterilizer reduced B. pseudomallei from the domestic water supply to undetectable levels. We have shown that UV treatment is highly effective for remediation of water contaminated with B. pseudomallei and recommend its consideration in households where individuals may be at heightened risk of contracting melioidosis.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Bart J. Currie, Menzies School of Health Research, PO Box 41096, Casuarina NT 0811, Australia. E-mail: bart@menzies.edu.au

Financial support: This work was supported by project grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. DG and BGS were funded by Wellcome Trust grant WT089472.

Authors' addresses: Evan McRobb, Mirjam Kaestli, Mark Mayo, Erin P. Price, Derek S. Sarovich, and Bart J. Currie, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia, E-mails: evan.mcrobb@menzies.edu.au, mirjam.kaestli@menzies.edu.au, mark.mayo@menzies.edu.au, erin.price@menzies.edu.au, derek.sarovich@menzies.edu.au, and bart@menzies.edu.au. Daniel Godoy and Brian G. Spratt, Imperial College, London, UK, E-mails: d.godoy@outlook.com and b.spratt@imperial.ac.uk.

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