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Melioidosis is a tropical infection, first described in Myanmar but now rarely diagnosed there, which is widespread in Southeast Asia. The infection is predominantly acquired by people and animals through contact with soil or water. This study aimed to detect the causative organism, Burkholderia pseudomallei, in environmental samples from farms in Thanlyin and Hmawbi townships near Yangon, Myanmar. One hundred and twenty soil samples and 12 water samples were collected and processed using standard microbiological methods. Burkholderia species were isolated from 50 of the 120 (42%) soil samples but none of the water samples. Arabinose assimilation was tested to differentiate between B. pseudomallei and the nonpathogenic Burkholderia thailandensis, and seven of 50 isolates (14%) were negative. These were all confirmed as B. pseudomallei by a species-specific multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This is the first study to detect environmental B. pseudomallei in Myanmar and confirms that melioidosis is still endemic in the Yangon area.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





1082 - 1084