Drivers of melioidosis endemicity: epidemiological transition, zoonosis, and climate change

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Melioidosis, caused by the soil-dwelling bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a tropical infection associated with high morbidity and mortality. This review summarizes current insights into melioidosis' endemicity, focusing on epidemiological transitions, zoonosis, and climate change. RECENT FINDINGS: Estimates of the global burden of melioidosis affirm the significance of hot-spots in Australia and Thailand. However, it also highlights the paucity of systematic data from South Asia, The Americas, and Africa. Globally, the growing incidence of diabetes, chronic renal and (alcoholic) liver diseases further increase the susceptibility of individuals to B. pseudomallei infection. Recent outbreaks in nonendemic regions have further exposed the hazard from the trade of animals and products as potential reservoirs for B. pseudomallei. Lastly, global warming will increase precipitation, severe weather events, soil salinity and anthrosol, all associated with the occurrence of B. pseudomallei. SUMMARY: Epidemiological transitions, zoonotic hazards, and climate change are all contributing to the emergence of novel melioidosis-endemic areas. The adoption of the One Health approach involving multidisciplinary collaboration is important in unraveling the real incidence of B. pseudomallei, as well as reducing the spread and associated mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • climate change
  • epidemiological transition
  • melioidosis
  • one health
  • zoonosis

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