Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of Melioidosis Caused by Gentamicin-Susceptible Burkholderia pseudomallei in Sarawak, Malaysia

Tonnii L. L. Sia, Anand Mohan, Mong How Ooi, Su-Lin Chien, Lee-See Tan, Charles Goh, Daniel C L Pang, Bart Currie, Jin-Shyan Wong, Yuwana Podin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Downloads (Pure)


    Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, is intrinsically resistant to a broad range of antibiotics, including aminoglycosides. In Sarawak, Malaysia, a high proportion of melioidosis cases are caused by gentamicin-susceptible isolates. There are limited epidemiological and clinical data on these infections.

    We conducted a retrospective study of culture-confirmed melioidosis among adults admitted to Bintulu Hospital in Sarawak, Malaysia, from January 2011 until December 2016.

    One hundred forty-eight adults with culture-confirmed melioidosis were identified. Of 129 (87%) tested, 84 (65%) had gentamicin-susceptible B. pseudomallei. The average annual incidence of melioidosis was 12.3 per 100 000 population, with marked variation between districts ranging from 5.8 to 29.3 per 100 000 population. Rural districts had higher incidences of melioidosis and overwhelmingly larger proportions of gentamicin-susceptible B. pseudomallei infection. Significantly more patients with gentamicin-susceptible infection had no identified risk factors, with diabetes less frequently present in this group. Ninety-eight percent had acute presentations. Pneumonia, reported in 71%, was the most common presentation. Splenic abscesses were found in 54% of those imaged. Bacteremia was present in 88%; septic shock occurred in 47%. Forty-five (35%) patients died. No differences in clinical, laboratory, or outcome characteristics were noted between gentamicin-susceptible and gentamicin-resistant infections.

    Gentamicin-susceptible B. pseudomallei infections are common in Sarawak and dominate in the high-incidence rural interior regions. Clinical manifestations and outcomes are the same as for gentamicin-resistant B. pseudomallei infections. Further studies are required to determine if all gentamicin-susceptible B. pseudomallei infections in Sarawak are clonal and to ascertain their environmental drivers and niches.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberofab460
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


    Dive into the research topics of 'Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of Melioidosis Caused by Gentamicin-Susceptible Burkholderia pseudomallei in Sarawak, Malaysia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this