Burkholderia pseudomallei, the etiological agent of melioidosis, has been hypothesized to be endemic throughout the Caribbean, including the impoverished nation of Haiti. However, because of the protean clinical manifestations, presence of asymptomatic infections, and limited medical diagnostic capacity, the identification of active melioidosis cases remains challenging. A seroepidemiological study was conducted using a novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect antibodies toward B. pseudomallei in the native population. The performance of an indirect ELISA with purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from B. pseudomallei was evaluated using serum collected from rhesus macaques exposed to aerosolized B. pseudomallei. After optimization, serum collected from asymptomatic population members (n = 756) was screened for polyvalent (immunoglobulin M [IgM]/immunoglobulin G [IgG]/immunoglobulinA) and monoclonal (IgGorIgM) immunoglobulins against B. pseudomallei LPS. The population seroprevalence was 11.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.2, 13.8) for polyvalent immunoglobulins, 9.8% (95% CI: 7.7, 11.9) for IgG, and 1.7% (95% CI: 0.8, 2.6%) for IgM. The seroprevalence was not significantly different by gender (P = 0.16), but increased significantly (P < 0.001) with age, yielding an estimated annual seroconversion rate of 1.05% (95% CI: 0.81, 1.3). The detection of both recent (IgM+) and previous (IgG+) exposure to B. pseudomallei provides serological evidence that melioidosis is endemic in Haiti.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases