January 11, 2016
Millions at risk of little known deadly tropical disease
Melioidosis, a difficult to diagnose deadly bacterial disease, is likely to be present in many more countries than previously thought, reports a paper published in Nature Microbiology, Predicted global distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei and burden of melioidosis by Limmathurotsakul et al.
The authors mapped documented human and animal melioidosis cases and environmental reports of B. pseudomallei published between 1910 and 2014. They combined these in a formal model that suggests that melioidosis is severely underreported in most of the 45 countries where it is known to be endemic and that it is probably endemic in another 34 countries that have never reported the disease.
The authors suggest these results highlight the need for this disease to be given a higher priority by health workers, international health organizations and policy makers.
"We hope that this paper will help raise awareness of the disease among all healthcare workers in endemic areas, as the disease can be treated if it is caught early enough," said Oxford researcher Dr. David Dance, one of the contributors to the report who first highlighted the under‐recognition of melioidosis 25 years ago and now studies infectious diseases including melioidosis at the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
A selection of news reports on this paper:
Thomson Reuters After Ebola, two other tropical diseases pose new threats
Agence France Presse (AFP) La mélioïdose est de plus plus répandue
Voice of America Risk of Deadly Melioidosis Rises, Study Finds
NPR – National Public Radio (USA) This Germ Can Live Decades In Distilled Water, Kill Humans In 48 Hours
Scientific American After Ebola, 2 Other Tropical Diseases Pose New Threats
International Business Times AU Melioidosis: Deadly infection 'silently' killing people worldwide, a potential ...
Bangkok Post Ministry urged to raise awareness of disease
Anadolu Agency Warning issued against deadly tropical bacterial disease
News.com.au Two tropical diseases pose global threats
Channel News Asia After Ebola, two other tropical diseases pose new threats