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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

The Darwin prospective melioidosis study



The Darwin prospective melioidosis study (DPMS) is investigating why melioidosis is increasing in urban areas in the Northern Territory. The project, which is being undertaken by the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Disease division at Menzies School of Health Research, hopes to the reduce the the number of deaths from melioidosis through early diagnosis.

Melioidosis is a fatal, infectious disease and has become an emerging health concern in Northern Australia. Recent wet seasons have seen a dramatic increase in cases of melioidosis. As Darwin's urban areas spread and irrigation schemes and agriculture encroach into the desert, there is an even greater risk of spread of melioidosis.

The program has been ongoing since the 1990s and has achieved a number of outcomes:

The next stage of the project involves using new technology to sequence whole bacterial genomes, providing an opportunity to determine why urban melioidosis is increasing, and to analyse a unique 24+ year set of bacteria and their linked patient data to find the important bacterial factors, forming a foundation for future diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

Abstract adapted from Menzies School of Health Research


Mark Mayo
Research Officer

Menzies School of Health Research
PO Box 41096
Casuarina NT 0811
Ph: (08) 8922 8196
Fax: (08) 8927 5187

Related publications

Morse LP, Smith J, Mehta J, Ward L, Cheng AC, Currie BJ (2013)

Osteomyelitis and septic arthritis from infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei: a 20-year prospective melioidosis study from northern Australia.

Journal of Orthopaedics; 10(2): 86-91


Last updated: 4 February 2014
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