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“Background Burkholderia pseudomallei is an environmental all Gram-negative bacterium that causes a severe and often fatal disease called melioidosis. This is an important cause of sepsis in south-east Asia and northern Australia, a geographic distribution that mirrors the presence of B. pseudomallei in the environment . Melioidosis may develop following bacterial inoculation or inhalation
and occurs most often in people with regular contact with contaminated soil and water . Clinical manifestations of melioidosis are highly variable and range from fulminant septicemia to mild localized infection. The overall mortality rate is 40% in northeast Thailand (rising to 90% in patients with severe sepsis) and 20% in northern Australia [1, 2]. A major feature of melioidosis is that bacterial eradication is difficult to achieve. Fever clearance time is often prolonged (median 8 days), antimicrobial therapy is required for 12-20 weeks, and relapse occurs in around 10% of patients despite an appropriate course of antimicrobial therapy [3, 4]. The basis for persistence in the infected human host is unknown, although several observations made to date may be relevant to the clinical behaviour of this organism [2, 5]. B. pseudomallei can resist the action of bactericidal selleck substances including complement and antimicrobial peptides in human serum [6–8]. B. pseudomallei can also survive after uptake by a range of phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells.