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Seroprevalence of melioidosis in diabetic patients in Taiwan

Wen-Tsair Chen1, Yao-Shen Chen2,3, Soi-Moi Chye4, Tsu-Rong Wu4, Wen-Gui Hong2, Yun-Nan Lin5, Hong-Twn Bair1, Shu-Chi Yang1, Ya-Lei Chen4
1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Min-Sheng Hospital, Kaohsiung; 2Infectious Disease Section, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung; 3Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung; 4Department of Medical Technology, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung; and 5Department of Pathology, The Cancer Society of Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Received: September 20, 2004 Revised: January 31, 2005 Accepted: February 14, 2005

Corresponding author: Dr. Ya-Lei Chen, Department of Medical Technology, Fooyin University, 151 Chin-Hsuen Rd. Ta-Liao, Kaohsiung 83101, Taiwan. E-mail:

Diabetes mellitus is a major predisposing factor for Burkholderia pseudomallei infection. This study surveyed serum samples from 356 Taiwanese patients with diabetes mellitus for anti-flagellin antibodies against B. pseudomallei. Antibody titer to B. pseudomallei was positive in 3.0% (11/365) of diabetes mellitus patients. All seropositive individuals were aged >60, indicating that elderly and diabetic adults are at high risk of B. pseudomallei infection. In this study, diabetic females, who were usually housewives, had a seropositive rate of 81.1%. However, the incidence of melioidosis in males (usually working outdoors) was 93.7% based on clinical cases. We suggest that exposure of males and females to B. pseudomallei in this study was via different routes of infection.

Key words: Bacterial antibodies, Burkholderia pseudomallei, melioidosis, seroepidemiologic studies

J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2005;38:267-270.

[Full Article in PDF]

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