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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases