Melioidosis study improves patient outcomes

Our research continued to put Menzies at the centre of better melioidosis patient outcomes through improved diagnosis and treatment.

In August 2016, the Menzies melioidosis team contributed to 17 abstracts at the World Melioidosis Congress, held in Cebu, in the Philippines. Professor Bart Currie and Mark Mayo, co-managers of the melioidosis programs, are on the executive committee of the International Melioidosis Society, which coordinates the congress.

Our long-running Darwin Prospective Melioidosis Study (DPMS) also achieved a significant milestone, recording the 1000th consecutive case of melioidosis from the Top End of the NT. The study has been running for 27 years and has informed international guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of melioidosis. Mortality from melioidosis currently stands at 10 per cent, in comparison to more than 30 per cent when we commenced the DPMS in 1989.

Menzies also houses a large prospective clinical and bacterial dataset, which enabled us for the first time to link specific genes present only in certain strains of Burkholderia pseudomallei to more severe disease in patients infected with those strains. Our bacterial genomics has also found a new melioidosis strain in Darwin which originated in Asia rather than Australia. We are now searching for why it has appeared in Darwin.