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Abstract Background Melioidosis is difficult to diagnose clinically and culture of Burkholderia pseudomallei is the current, imperfect gold standard. However, a reliable point-of-care test (POCT) could enable earlier treatment and improve outcomes. Methods We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the Active Melioidosis Detect™ (AMD) rapid test as a POCT and determined how much it reduced the time to diagnosis compared with culture. Results We tested 106 whole blood, plasma and buffy coat samples, 96 urine, 28 sputum and 20 pus samples from 112 patients, of whom 26 (23.2%) were culture-positive for B. pseudomallei. AMD sensitivity and specificity were 65.4 and 87.2%, respectively, the latter related to 10 weak positive reactions on urine samples, considered likely false positives. The positive predictive value was 60.7%, negative predictive value was 89.3% and concordance rate between operators reading the test was 95.7%; time to diagnosis decreased by a median of 23 h. Conclusions Our findings confirm that a strongly positive AMD result can reduce the time to diagnosis of melioidosis. However, the AMD currently has a disappointing overall sensitivity, especially with blood fractions, and specificity problems when testing urine samples.

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





757 - 763