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December 4, 1967

Melioidosis Pneumonitis: Analysis of Nine Cases of a Benign Form of Melioidosis

Author Affiliations

From the Pulmonary Disease Service, Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, Pa. Dr. Spotnitz is now with the Department of Medicine, Maricopa County Hospital, Phoenix, Ariz.

JAMA. 1967;202(10):950-954. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130230076013

Melioidosis has been known as a highly fatal bacterial infection of tropical areas. Epidemiological studies indicate that the disease is much more common than previously suspected because a high incidence of asymptomatic infections was found among natives of the endemic areas. In nine patients in whom the infection was confined to the lungs, the clinical manifestations closely mimicked pulmonary tuberculosis with upper-lobe infiltration and cavitation. The course was subacute, the patients had a productive cough, blood-tinged sputum, chest pain, fever, chills, weight loss, and anemia. This form of the disease showed an excellent response to appropriate antibiotic therapy. Isolated pulmonary melioidosis is a relatively benign disease and does not have the same prognosis as the septicemic form.