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Melioidosis is known to occur in Bangladesh, but there are few reports about the condition in the published international literature. We set out to review all known cases of melioidosis in the country to date, using both retrospective and prospective data. A web-based literature search was conducted to identify all published case reports, original articles and conference abstracts. Cases were also included from a prospective study conducted in 2017. Fifty-one cases were identified between 1961 and 2017. Cases have been reported from sixteen out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. The median age of the patients at presentation was 45 years (IQR 37⁻52), with a significant male (77%) predominance. Many patients (14/39; 36%) were farmers and 83% had diabetes mellitus. A skin/soft tissue abscess was the most common primary clinical presentation (13/49; 27%), followed by septic arthritis (10/49; 20%), pneumonia, and a deep-seated abscess/organ abscess (7/49; 14%). The major challenges to the diagnosis and treatment of melioidosis in Bangladesh are the lack of resources and the lack of awareness of melioidosis. Capacity development programs are urgently required to define the burden of disease and to tackle the mortality rates.

Original publication




Journal article


Trop Med Infect Dis

Publication Date





Bangladesh, Burkholderia, melioidosis