Melioidosis: what we know about this fatal tropical disease

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Bhubaneswar: Ever heard of Melioidosis? This least known ailment is a deadly tropical disease caused by a soil saprophyte (bacteria) which has a high mortality rate.

A saprophyte can be a plant, fungus or microorganism which lives on dead or decaying organic matter. Researchers have found that this disease is caused by the soil saprophyte known as Burkholderiapseudomallei.

“Though the disease carries a very high mortality rate throughout the world, it has remained under reported because of lack of knowledge and awareness about the same among the healthcare community,” Prof. (Dr.) David Dance of the London School of Hygiene said at a Continuing Medical Education (CME) held on virtual mode at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here recently.

The symptoms of this disease mimic those of several other diseases including tuberculosis, typhoid, malaria, scrub typus, leptospirosis and dengue for which it is known as the ‘Great Mimicker’.

Prof. (Dr.) Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) also attended as one of the resource persons.

The speakers covered the global scenario as also the Indian situation in regard to this deadly tropical disease, the available diagnostic modalities and treatment options.

The CME was inaugurated by Prof. (Dr.) Sanghamitra Mishra, dean of IMS and SUM Hospital who expressed concern about this disease while urging the participants to do more research about the disease.

Around 200 participants from across the country representing different medical colleges had registered for the CME. The programme was coordinated by Dr. Pragnya Paramita Jena. Prof. (Dr.) Kundan Kumar Sahu, head of Department of Microbiology, proposed the vote of thanks.

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