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Volume 38, Number 4, August 2005

Seroprevalence of melioidosis in diabetic patients in Taiwan

Wen-Tsair Chen, Yao-Shen Chen, Soi-Moi Chye, Tsu-Rong Wu, Wen-Gui Hong, Yun-Nan Lin, Hong-Twn Bair, Shu-Chi Yang, Ya-Lei Chen
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Min-Sheng Hospital, Kaohsiung; Infectious Disease Section, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung; Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung; Department of Medical Technology, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung; and Department of Pathology, The Cancer Society of Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Received: September 20, 2004    Revised: January 31, 2005    Accepted: February 14, 2005   


Corresponding author:

Dr. Ya-Lei Chen, Department of Medical Technology, Fooyin University, 151 Chin-Hsuen Rd. Ta-Liao, Kaohsiung 83101, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it




Diabetes mellitus is a major predisposing factor for Burkholderia pseudomallei infection. This study surveyed serum samples from 356 Taiwanese patients with diabetes mellitus for anti-flagellin antibodies against B. pseudomallei. Antibody titer to B. pseudomallei was positive in 3.0% (11/365) of diabetes mellitus patients. All seropositive individuals were aged >60, indicating that elderly and diabetic adults are at high risk of B. pseudomallei infection. In this study, diabetic females, who were usually housewives, had a seropositive rate of 81.1%. However, the incidence of melioidosis in males (usually working outdoors) was 93.7% based on clinical cases. We suggest that exposure of males and females to B. pseudomallei in this study was via different routes of infection.



Key words:

Bacterial antibodies, Burkholderia pseudomallei, melioidosis, seroepidemiologic studies



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2005;38:267-270.