Burkholderia pseudomallei, a soil-dwelling
bacterium that causes melioidosis, has been called the “great mimicker”
because its effects—including blood infection, abscesses, and lung,
kidney, and heart disease—are remarkably wide-ranging, making diagnosis
difficult. Now, researchers from England, Thailand, Australia, and the United
States have gleaned some insight into the organism’s extraordinary adaptability
through an analysis of its genome.
The group’s findings were published on September 13 in an online
edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
of the United States of America (http://www.pnas.org).
Stephenson J. Secrets of the “Great Mimicker”. JAMA. 2004;292(15):1810. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1810-b