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Case Report

A case of melioidosis with hemoptysis: Strategies to isolate and identify Burkholderia pseudomallei

Therese Mary Dhason, Thyagarajan Ravinder, Usha Krishnan, Pavithra Ammanarasimman, Lavanya T. Kamalasekaran, Amutha Chellaiah.


Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei with diverse clinical manifestations. Mortality is due to septic shock and pneumonia. Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative rod with bipolar staining. Culture is the gold standard diagnostic test. Gram stain, biochemical reactions, and Poymyxin resistance aid in the identification of the organism.
Case Description:
A 52-year-old female with type 2 diabetes mellitus was hospitalized for a chronic cough. A sputum sample was collected for Culture and Acidfast staining. Burkholderia pseudomallei was isolated and the patient was prescribed appropriate antibiotic. On the 15th day of admission, patient expired following a bout of hemoptysis despite antibiotic therapy.
Culture is the gold standard diagnostic method in melioidosis. Burholderia pseudomallei can be easily differentiated from other organisms by Gram stain, methylene blue stain, and screening for polymyxin sensitivity. Early diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic therapy are warranted in melioidosis.

Key words: Burkholderia pseudomallei, Bipolar staining, Polymyxin B

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