Molecular Investigations of a Locally Acquired Case of Melioidosis in Southern AZ, USA

David Engelthaler, Jolene Bowers, James Schupp, Talima Pearson, Jennifer Ginther, Heidie Hornstra, Julia Dale, Tasha Stewart, Rebecca Sunenshine, Victor Waddell, Craig Levy, John Gillece, Lance Price, Tania Contente, Stephen Beckstrom-Sternberg, David Blaney, David Wagner, Mark Mayo, Bart Currie, Paul KeimApichai Tuanyok

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Melioidosis is caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, a Gram-negative bacillus, primarily found in soils in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. A recent case of melioidosis in non-endemic Arizona was determined to be the result of locally acquired infection, as the patient had no travel history to endemic regions and no previous history of disease. Diagnosis of the case was confirmed through multiple microbiologic and molecular techniques. To enhance the epidemiological analysis, we conducted several molecular genotyping procedures, including multi-locus sequence typing, SNP-profiling, and whole genome sequence typing. Each technique has different molecular epidemiologic advantages, all of which provided evidence that the infecting strain was most similar to those found in Southeast Asia, possibly originating in, or around, Malaysia. Advancements in new typing technologies provide genotyping resolution not previously available to public health investigators, allowing for more accurate source identification.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere1347
    Pages (from-to)e1347
    Number of pages8
    JournalPlos Neglected Tropical Diseases
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


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