Burkholderia pseudomallei detection among hospitalized patients, Sarawak

Jessica Y. Choi, King Ching Hii, Emily S. Bailey, Jia Yun Chuang, Wei Yieng Tang, Edmund Kwang Yuen Wong, Tiana Ti, Kat Siong Pau, Antoinette Berita, Izreena Saihidi, Jakie Ting, Tiing Tiing Chua, Teck Hock Toh, David P. AuCoin, David DeShazer, Gregory C. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Burkholderia pseudomallei infections are prevalent in Southeast Asia and northern Australia and often misdiagnosed. Diagnostics are often neither sensitive nor rapid, contributing up to 50% mortality rate. In this 2018 pilot study, we enrolled 100 patients aged 6 months-79 years from Kapit Hospital in Sarawak, Malaysia, with symptoms of B. pseudomallei infection. We used three different methods for the detection of B. pseudomallei: A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, a rapid lateral flow immunoassay, and the standard-of-care bacterial culture-the gold standard. Among the 100 participants, 24 (24%) were positive for B. pseudomallei by one or more of the detection methods. Comparing the two individual diagnostic methods against the gold standard-bacterial culture-of any positive test, there was low sensitivity for each test (25-44%) but high specificity (93-98%). It seems clear that more sensitive diagnostics or a sensitive screening diagnostic followed by specific confirmatory diagnostic is needed for this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-391
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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