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Melioidosis is clearly highly endemic in Laos, although the disease has only been diagnosed regularly in humans (1359 cases) since 1999, and only a single animal case has been microbiologically confirmed. Burkholderiapseudomallei is extensively and abundantly present in soil and surface water in central and southern Laos, but the true distribution of the disease across the country remains to be determined. Surveillance is almost non-existent and diagnostic microbiology services are not yet well established, whilst awareness of melioidosis is low amongst policy-makers, healthcare providers, and the public. It is hoped that this situation will improve over the next decade as the country rapidly develops, especially as this is likely to be accompanied by a further increase in the prevalence of diabetes, meaning that more people in this predominantly agricultural population will be at risk of contracting melioidosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Trop Med Infect Dis

Publication Date





Burkholderia pseudomallei, Lao PDR, Laos, melioidosis