Melioidosis in a rural community of Western Province, Papua New Guinea

Warner, J.M., Pelowa, D.B., Currie, B.J., and Hirst, R.G. (2007) Melioidosis in a rural community of Western Province, Papua New Guinea. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 101 (8). pp. 809-813.

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Abstract

A prospective study was conducted to determine the significance of melioidosis in the Balimo district of Western Province, Papua New Guinea. During 1998, after the establishment of laboratory procedures and increasing local clinical awareness, the disease was found in 1.8% (95% CI 0.37–5.1%) of individuals presenting with fever refractory to standard treatment. The clinical incidence was 20.0 per 100 000 population (95% CI 12.2–30.9). The median age of culture-confirmed cases was 9.5 years (interquartile range 8.3–14.8 years). The seroprevalence of 747 community children in the region tested was 8.2% (95% CI 6.2–10.4%). Most individuals presented during the rainy season with a febrile disease refractory to standard treatment, sometimes mimicking tuberculosis. Some family clustering was apparent. All patients with bacteraemic melioidosis died, but treatment with the available conventional therapies of chloramphenicol, co-trimoxazole or doxycycline resulted in survival and cure in six patients with subacute/localised melioidosis. Further studies are needed to ascertain the local epidemiology and why children appear particularly at risk, as well as to establish the true extent of melioidosis in Papua New Guinea.

Item ID: 2809
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: melioidosis; Burkholderia pseudomallei; pseudomallei; chloramphenicol; co-trimoxazole; doxycycline; Paupa New Guinea
ISSN: 0035-9203
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2009 03:26
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110801 Medical Bacteriology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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