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Jaeseung Shin 1 Article
Imported Melioidosis in South Korea: A Case Series with a Literature Review
Seung Woo Kim, Geun-Yong Kwon, Bongyoung Kim, Donghyok Kwon, Jaeseung Shin, Geun-Ryang Bae
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(6):363-368.   Published online December 31, 2015
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Melioidosis is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by the environmental anaerobic Gram-negative bacillus Burkholderia pseudomallei. Melioidosis is endemic to areas of northern Australia and Southeast Asia. With increasing international travel and migration, imported cases of melioidosis are being reported regularly. Here, we summarize the 11 cases of melioidosis reported in South Korea from 2003 to 2014.
Tracing epidemiological investigations were performed on every patient reported to the National Surveillance System since 2011. A systematic literature search was performed to identify melioidosis cases that occurred prior to 2011.
The overall fatality rate was 36.4%. All the patients had visited Southeast Asia where melioidosis is endemic. The stay in the endemic region ranged from 4 days to 20 years. Of the seven patients who developed initial symptoms after returning to South Korea, the time interval between returning to South Korea and symptom onset ranged from 1 day to 3 years. The remaining four patients developed symptoms during their stay in the endemic region and were diagnosed with melioidosis in South Korea. Seven (63.6%) patients possessed at least one risk factor, all of whom were diabetic. Pneumonia was the most frequent clinical manifestation, but the patients showed a wide spectrum of clinical features, including internal organ abscesses, a mycotic aneurysm of the aorta, and coinfection with tuberculosis.
An early diagnosis and initiation of the appropriate antibiotics can reduce the mortality of melioidosis. Consequently, increased awareness of the risk factors and clinical features of melioidosis is required.


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