Melioidosis: an uncommon cause of neck abscess.Am J Otolaryngol. 2008 Jan-Feb; 29(1):72-4.AJ
Melioidosis is a life-threatening disease caused by B. pseudomallei. It is endemic in Southeast Asia with a few reports from the Western world. It is transmitted via inhalation, ingestion or direct contact with an open wound. Clinically it may present with local or systemic symptoms. Mortality rate is very high in systemic disease; but local infection is usually mild, which causes delay in seeking medical attention.
We report a case of neck melioidosis presenting as a parapharyngeal abscess that was successfully managed with incision and drainage and intravenous ceftazidime and co-trimoxazole for 6 weeks followed by eradication therapy with oral co amoxiclav.
Neck melioidosis must be considered one of differential diagnoses for "cold abscesses" of the neck, especially in an endemic area, in Asian migrants, or in those with history of previous visit from the endemic regions.