Surgical presentation of melioidosis in India.Natl Med J India. 1999 Mar-Apr; 12(2):59-61.NM
Melioidosis, the disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, is common in Southeast Asia. It has also been reported from India, where some investigators feel it is under-diagnosed and under-reported. We report our experience with melioidosis presenting as abscesses at unusual sites.
All consecutive patients with culture proven B. pseudomallei, who presented to a single surgical unit between 1995 and 1998, were evaluated.
Three patients presented with splenic abscesses and one with a soft tissue abscess in the neck. One patient developed septicaemia. All patients responded favourably to ceftazidime and/or co-trimoxazole which was started as soon as the diagnosis was confirmed.
Melioidosis is under-diagnosed in India, probably due to a low index of suspicion of this disease among clinicians. It should be considered as a possibility when abscesses are encountered at unusual sites. The pus must then be cultured to identify the causative agent.