ELISA and immuno-polymerase chain reaction assays for the sensitive detection of melioidosis.Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Feb; 75(2):135-8.DM
Melioidosis is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. The gold standard for diagnosis is culture, which requires at least 3-4 days to obtain a result, hindering successful treatment of acute disease. An indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA) is often used but lacks sensitivity. Approximately half of patients later confirmed culture positive are not detected by IHA at presentation and a subset of patients persistently continue to be IHA negative. More rapid and reliable serologic testing for melioidosis is essential and will improve diagnosis and patient outcome. We have developed an ELISA and a quantitative immuno-polymerase chain reaction assay capable of detecting melioidosis-specific antibodies and demonstrate their validity with IHA-negative sera from patients with melioidosis. These new sensitive assays are based upon a secreted antigenic fraction from B. pseudomallei and will be ideal for the diagnosis of melioidosis in patients in nonendemic regions returning from endemic tropical areas and for seroepidemiologic surveys.