Molecular investigations of a locally acquired case of melioidosis in Southern AZ, USA

David M. Engelthaler, Jolene Bowers, James A. Schupp, Talima Pearson, Jennifer Ginther, Heidie M. Hornstra, Julia Dale, Tasha Stewart, Rebecca Sunenshine, Victor Waddell, Craig Levy, John Gillece, Lance B. Price, Tania Contente, Stephen M. Beckstrom-Sternberg, David D. Blaney, David M. Wagner, Mark Mayo, Bart J. Currie, Paul KeimApichai Tuanyok

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23 Scopus citations


Melioidosis is caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, a Gram-negative bacillus, primarily found in soils in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. A recent case of melioidosis in non-endemic Arizona was determined to be the result of locally acquired infection, as the patient had no travel history to endemic regions and no previous history of disease. Diagnosis of the case was confirmed through multiple microbiologic and molecular techniques. To enhance the epidemiological analysis, we conducted several molecular genotyping procedures, including multi-locus sequence typing, SNP-profiling, and whole genome sequence typing. Each technique has different molecular epidemiologic advantages, all of which provided evidence that the infecting strain was most similar to those found in Southeast Asia, possibly originating in, or around, Malaysia. Advancements in new typing technologies provide genotyping resolution not previously available to public health investigators, allowing for more accurate source identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1347
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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