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May 16, 1966

Osteomyelitis Due to Pseudomonas pseudomallei

Author Affiliations

From the Microbiology Department and Pathology Service (Drs. Borchardt and Stansifer), and Orthopedic Service (Dr. Albano), Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco. Dr. Borchardt is now with the US Public Health Service Hospital, San Francisco.

JAMA. 1966;196(7):660-662. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100200100035

WHITMORE and Krishnaswami,1 in 1915, reported the discovery of a gram-negative bacterium that caused an infectious disease not previously described, later named melioidosis by Stanton and Fletcher.3 Melioidosis is endemic in Southeastern Asia and Guam.3

The diagnosis of melioidosis is complicated because the etiological agent may be confused with other nonpathogenic gram-negative bacteria.4 Moreover, a variety of organs can be involved in the chronic form so that the disease also mimics viral, rickettsial, and fungal infections.2,5

The following case report demonstrates acute and chronic melioidosis resulting in osteomyelitis. The etiological agent was identified culturally, by the fluorescent antibody technique, and animal pathogenicity studies.

Report of a Case  In August 1963, this 21-year-old Negro man was hospitalized in South Vietnam with pneumonia thought to be of viral origin. The pneumonia did not resolve spontaneously and he was treated with tetracycline and sulfisoxazole diethanolamine to which he

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