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Global Burden Of Melioidosis Greater Than Previously Thought; Disease Must Be Given Higher Priority, Researchers Say

News outlets report on a study published Monday in Nature Microbiology showing the global burden of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a highly pathogenic bacterium that causes melioidosis, is higher than previously believed.

Agence France-Presse: Deadly bacteria more prevalent than previously thought: study
“…Melioidosis, also known as Whitmore’s disease, has long been known to be endemic in parts of South and East Asia, the Pacific and northern Australia. But a new analysis by a team of international researchers suggests the disease is also present across swathes of South America and sub-Saharan Africa and likely present in parts of Central America, southern Africa, and the Middle East…” (1/11).

International Business Times: Melioidosis: 89,000 killed every year by little-known disease as deadly as measles
“…Reporting their findings in the journal Nature Microbiology, an international team of scientists led by Direk Limmathurotsakul of the University of Oxford mapped cases of melioidosis among humans and animals, along with environmental reports of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the pathogenic bacterium that causes the disease…” (Osborne, 1/11).

Reuters: After Ebola, two other tropical diseases pose new threats
“…Researchers in the journal Nature Microbiology called for a bacterial infection called meliodosis, which is resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, to be given a higher priority by international health organizations and policymakers. At the same time, scientists at Britain’s Oxford University warned that a virus known as Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes and has caused a major outbreak in Brazil, has ‘the potential of rapid spread to new areas’…” (Kelland, 1/11).

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