Melioidosis is in the Americas: A Call to Action for Diagnosing and Treating the Disease

Alfredo G. Torres Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas;

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Franco E. Montufar Clinical Pneumology, León XIII Clinic of Antioquia University, Infectology Post-Degree of Pontificia Bolivariana University, Medellin, Colombia;

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Jay E. Gee Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia;

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Alex R. Hoffmaster Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia;

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Mindy G. Elrod Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia;

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Carolina Duarte-Valderrama National Institute of Health, Microbiology Group, Direction in Public Health Networks, Bogota, Colombia;

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Monica G. Huertas University el Bosque, Bogota, Colombia

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David D. Blaney Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia;

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Melioidosis, a disease caused by the pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a significant underreported endemic disease found in tropical countries worldwide. Recent studies have demonstrated that human melioidosis cases have been increasingly recognized in the Americas. Therefore, the first Scientific Reunion of Melioidosis in the Americas was organized in Colombia, with the participation of health authorities of 11 Latin American countries and the United States. This report summarizes the topics reviewed during the meeting, including how to identify human infections and properly diagnose them, with the goal of increasing recognition of the disease in the Americas.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Alfredo G. Torres, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555. E-mail: altorres@utmb.edu

Financial support: This work was supported by UTMB Institute for Human Infections and Immunity seed grant awarded to AGT.

Authors’ addresses: Alfredo G. Torres, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: altorres@utmb.edu. Franco E. Montufar, Department of Clinical Pneumology, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, E-mail: frmontufar@yahoo.com. Jay E. Gee, Alex R. Hoffmaster, and David D. Blaney, Bacterial Special Pathogens Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: xzg4@cdc.gov, amh9@cdc.gov, and znr5@cdc.gov. Mindy G. Elrod, Zoonoses and Select Agents, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: wzg0@cdc.gov. Carolina Duarte-Valderrama, Microbiology Group, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogota, Colombia, E-mail: cduarte@ins.gov.co. Monica G. Huertas, Department of Microbiology, Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia, E-mail: mogahuertas@gmail.com.

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