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April 20, 1946


Author Affiliations

U.S.N.R.; U.S.N.R.

From the U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit 2, Guam, Marianas Islands.

JAMA. 1946;130(16):1063-1067. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870160009004

During the months of July and August 1945, 2 fatal cases of melioidosis1 were encountered in military personnel on the island of Guam. The diagnosis in each instance was made by postmortem examination and by the isolation of Pfeifferella whitmori from the pathologic lesions observed. This micro-organism is similar in many respects to Pfeifferella mallei, the causative agent of glanders, and the lesions of the two conditions are similar. The findings in the 2 cases of melioidosis reported here are thought to be of importance because of the recognized high mortality attending human infection with P. whitmori and because of the apparent rarity of the disease in the past.

Up to 1933 only 95 cases of this disease in man had been described in the literature,2 with a mortality of 95 per cent. Thirty-eight of these cases were reported from Burma, 39 from the Federated Malay States, 10

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