Article Text

Melioidosis: the great mimicker presenting as spondylodiscitis


Melioidosis, a syndrome with protean clinical manifestations, is caused by Gram-negative soil saprophyte Burkholderiapseudomallei. Among its diverse clinical presentations, the involvement of spine is a rare phenomenon and can mimic tuberculosis on presentation. A 65-year-old female with a known case of diabetes presented with fever with lower back pain. Blood culture grew Staphylococcus aureus, and as per sensitivity report, clindamycin and cefazolin were started. X-ray and MRI lumbosacral spine showed spondylodiscitis (likely Koch’s). Decompression and biopsy were done, and a sample was sent for microbiological investigations that showed no growth of any significant pathogen; furthermore, all tests for tuberculosis diagnosis also remained negative. Active Melioidosis Detect Lateral Flow Assay was used on the tissue sample, which was positive for B. pseudomallei Capsular Polysaccharide (CPS) antigen; the case was confirmed by typethree secretion system 1 PCR for melioidosis. Antibiotics were changed to parenteral ceftazidime for 2 weeks followed by oral cotrimoxazole. A dedicated team of microbiologists and physicians is required to identify and treat the disease.

  • infectious diseases
  • bone and joint infections

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.