A call to action: Time to recognise melioidosis as a neglected tropical disease

Jelmer Savelkoel, David A.B. Dance, Bart J. Currie, Direk Limmathurotsakul, W. Joost Wiersinga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Melioidosis is a tropical infection caused by the soil bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Despite the substantial impact of this often overlooked pathogen on both the health-care systems and economies of numerous low-income and middle-income countries around the world, melioidosis is not officially classified as a neglected tropical disease (NTD) by WHO. Melioidosis causes a higher estimated disease burden and mortality than many other recognised NTDs, with deaths primarily occurring among rural poor populations in low-income and middle-income countries. Fortunately, the impact of melioidosis in a region can be reduced once awareness is established of its known or suspected endemicity. In this Personal View, we provide evidence in support of official recognition of melioidosis as an NTD. We urge member states to request that WHO revisit their NTD list and appeal to government and philanthropic organisations to establish programmes in endemic countries to control melioidosis in order to reduce its global health burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e176-e182
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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