A first report of pulmonary melioidosis in Cambodia.

Abstract : Melioidosis has never been officially reported from Cambodia. Here we report two cases, a 58-year-old male (case 1) and a 49-year-old female (case 2) who presented with respiratory illnesses featuring multiple lung abscesses. The sputum culture of both patients, taken in the framework of a laboratory-based study on aetiologies of (sub-)acute respiratory infections among hospitalized patients in southern Cambodia, grew Burkholderia pseudomallei. The most striking aspect of these case stories was the extent of the delays in diagnosis. Presenting with a 1-month history of respiratory symptoms, case 1 was first suspected of tuberculosis (TB) infection, and then misdiagnosed as 'metastatic lung cancer' in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Case 2 suffered from pulmonary infections for >10 years, during which time she was treated for TB four times. Neither patient ever produced acid-fast-bacilli (AFB)-positive sputum. Following our laboratory confirmation, the patients were traced for re-admission. Under the 'classical' trimethoprim sulphamethoxazole, chloramphenicol and doxycycline treatment, their clinical status improved considerably within 2 weeks. The two study cases illustrate issues relating to the misdiagnosis of melioidosis in Cambodia; an unfamiliarity of clinicians with the disease, which is associated with a high prevalence of TB. Therefore, a heightened awareness of melioidosis among clinicians would have a substantial impact on public health as the non-septicaemic form of the disease is potentially treatable with antibiotics that are available in Cambodian public hospitals.
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Rob Overtoom, Virak Khieu, Sopheak Hem, Philippe Cavailler, Vantha Te, et al.. A first report of pulmonary melioidosis in Cambodia.. Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2008, 102 Suppl 1, pp.S21-5. ⟨10.1016/S0035-9203(08)70007-5⟩. ⟨pasteur-00702467⟩

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