A little-known tropical disease melioidosis, affects South and Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford and published in the journal Nature Microbiology ‘, warns that melioidosis infection resistant to many antibiotics, could spread throughout the world.
Researchers assume that the disease is present in 79 countries, including 34 who have never documented the disease. According accurate study, the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, which causes the infection, commonly found in soils of South and Southeast Asia and northern Australia, although it can also spread to non-endemic areas through the importation of infected animals.
Melioidosis, which is spread through skin, lungs, or by drinking contaminated water, it can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of tuberculosis and pneumonia. Inadequate treatment of the infection may lead to mortality rates above 70%.
Scientists estimate that of the 165,000 cases reported each year 89,000 melioidosis can be deadly. These figures are similar to the measles or dengue, two current priorities for many international health organizations.
The most exposed to melioidosis patients are those with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal disease or consuming alcohol.