What are the signs and symptoms of P aeruginosa melioidosis?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
  • Print


  • Melioidosis stages include acute, localized, and chronic infections. The incubation period is not clearly defined but may range from 2 days to years.

  • Stages of melioidosis include the following:

    • Acute: Characterized by a localized nodule, caused by inoculation of the bacteria through a break in the skin, which can lead to secondary lymphangitis, regional lymphadenitis, fever, and myalgia. Acute melioidosis may rapidly progress to infect the bloodstream.

    • Pulmonary infection: The clinical picture ranges from mild bronchitis to severe pneumonia. Onset of pulmonary melioidosis is usually associated with high fever, headache, anorexia, and general myalgia. Chest pain is also common. The hallmark is a nonproductive or productive cough with normal sputum.

    • Acute bloodstream infection: Patients with underlying illness (eg, HIV, renal failure, diabetes) are predisposed to this form of the disease, which usually results in septic shock. Symptoms of bloodstream infection vary, depending on the original infection site, but generally include respiratory distress, severe headache, fever, diarrhea, development of pus-filled lesions on the skin, myalgia, and disorientation. The infection typically has short duration, although abscesses form throughout the body.

    • Chronic suppurative infection: Chronic melioidosis is an infection involving several organs, typically including the joints, viscera, lymph nodes, skin, brain, liver, lung, bones, and spleen. Chronic apical lung disease often resembles tuberculosis (TB).

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!