Description of two fatal cases of melioidosis in Mexican children with acute pneumonia: case report

Gerardo Alvarez-Hernandez, Denica Cruz-Loustaunau, J. Antonio Ibarra, Adela Rascon-Alcantar, Jesús Contreras-Soto, Georgina Meza-Radilla, Alfredo G. Torres, Paulina Estrada-de los Santos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei. In Mexico, the disease is rarely diagnosed in humans and there is no evidence of simultaneous environmental isolation of the pathogen. Here, we describe clinical profiles of fatal cases of melioidosis in two children, in a region without history of that disease. Case presentation: About 48 h before onset of symptoms, patients swam in a natural body of water, and thereafter they rapidly developed fatal septicemic illness. Upon necropsy, samples from liver, spleen, lung, cerebrospinal fluid, and bronchial aspirate tissues contained Burkholderia pseudomallei. Environmental samples collected from the locations where the children swam also contained B. pseudomallei. All the clinical and environmental strains showed the same BOX-PCR pattern, suggesting that infection originated from the area where the patients were swimming. Conclusions: The identification of B. pseudomallei confirmed that melioidosis disease exists in Sonora, Mexico. The presence of B. pseudomallei in the environment may suggest endemicity of the pathogen in the region. This study highlights the importance of strengthening laboratory capacity to prevent and control future melioidosis cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the technical support of Erika Yanet Tapia-García (Instituto Politécnico Nacional). We also appreciate the work done by the following staff of the Hospital Infantil del Estado de Sonora: Ana Dolores Quintero-Grijalva, Cruz Griselda López-López and Gloria Martina Tarazón-Noriega, and Lidia Valeria García-Ruiz from the Sonora State Laboratory. The authors appreciate the support from the participant agencies and health personnel who enthusiastically carried out the field activities. We deeply appreciate Martha Thayer for proofreading this manuscript.

Funding Information:
We thank the technical support of Erika Yanet Tapia-García (Instituto Politécnico Nacional). We also appreciate the work done by the following staff of the Hospital Infantil del Estado de Sonora: Ana Dolores Quintero-Grijalva, Cruz Griselda López-López and Gloria Martina Tarazón-Noriega, and Lidia Valeria García-Ruiz from the Sonora State Laboratory. The authors appreciate the support from the participant agencies and health personnel who enthusiastically carried out the field activities. We deeply appreciate Martha Thayer for proofreading this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Case report
  • Fatal outcome
  • Melioidosis

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