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Abstract Background Little is known about the involvement of the human gut in carriage and disease associated with Burkholderia pseudomallei, the cause of melioidosis. Methods A hospital-based study was conducted in Northeast Thailand to culture stools or rectal swabs from patients with melioidosis, stools from controls with non-infectious diseases, and gastric biopsies from patients undergoing routine endoscopic investigation. Results and Conclusion B. pseudomallei was isolated from 9/83 (11%) stools and 9/58 (16%) rectal swabs from 141 patients with melioidosis. All stools from 244 control patients and 799 gastric biopsies from 395 patients with no evidence of melioidosis were culture negative for B. pseudomallei. It is not uncommon for melioidosis patients to shed B. pseudomallei in stool. Colonization of the gut of individuals without signs and symptoms of melioidosis may be rare.

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





185 - 187