Melioidosis is a contagious disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bps), which is found only in Southeast Asia and tropical Australia during the wet season. It causes lung infections or soft tissues, with or without bloodstream infection, with a case fatality rate > 80%. Melioidosis is most common in people with diabetes, high alcohol consumption, and chronic kidney disease. We aimed to describe the epidemiological characteristics of Bps infection in Siem Reap Provincial Referral Hospital in 2021.
We conducted a cross-sectional study in Siem Reap Provincial Hospital using existing data from January-December 2021 extracted from the CamLIS. All 3,213 samples for cultures included blood, urine, body fluid, CSF, pus, throat swab, tissue, sputum, stool, and genital swab from both male and female patients aged >1 year. We analyzed data using STATA V 1. We used descriptive statistics for the distribution of microbiology specimens by Bps and non-Bps, isolated bloodstream pathogens isolated, and culture contamination rate.
Overall, the cultured sample age was 47.8 (SD = 21.7), and Bps accounted for 2.83% (91/3213), in which 59 cases were males and 32 cases were females. Blood culture specimens accounted for 46.2%. Among 280 bloodstream pathogens isolated, Bps had the highest proportion of 28.9% (81/280), and patients aged 45-54 years had the highest Bps infection rate of 28.6% (26/91). The majority of Bps infection cases occurred during the rainy season from May to November, 71.6% (58/81). The overall blood culture contamination rate was approximately 3.3%.
Our study concluded that Bps infection was the leading cause of infectious disease in Siem Reap Provincial Hospital, particularly during the rainy season, and Bps bloodstream infections were the highest over a 12-month period in 2021. Male patients aged 45-54 were found to have the highest prevalence of Bps. This study suggests that the management team at the Siem Reap Provincial Health Department and related local and international NGOs should prioritize this infection.