Abstract

In a prospective study of all patients with Pseudomonas pseudomallei infections admitted to a large provincial hospital in northeastern Thailand, 63 cases of septicemic melioidosis and 206 patients with other community-acquired septicemias were documented during a 1-y period. Apart from P. pseudomallei, the spectrum of bacteria isolated from blood cultures and the overall mortality (32%) were similar to those previously reported elsewhere. Death from septicemia was associated with failure to develop a leukocytosis or pyrexia over 38°C, azotemia, hypoglycemia, and jaundice. Septicemic melioidosis presented mainly in the rainy season, occurred predominantly in rice farmers or their families, and was significantly associated with preexisting diabetes mellitus or renal failure (P = .03). Blood-borne pneumonia and visceral abscesses were common and the mortality was high (68%; P < .001). The response to appropriate treatment was slow (median fever clearance time 5.5 d) and the median duration of hospital stay was 4 w. Septicemic meloidosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in northeast Thailand.

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