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Human-to-Human Transmission of Pseudomonas pseudomallei

JOSEPH B. McCORMICK, M.D.; DANIEL J. SEXTON, M.D.; JAMES G. McMURRAY, M.D.; ELIZABETH CAREY, M.D.; PEGGY HAYES, A.B.; and ROGER A. FELDMAN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Reprint requests should be addressed to Joseph B. McCormick, M.D., Special Pathogens Branch, Bacterial Diseases Division, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


Atlanta, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi


Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(4):512-513. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-4-512
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Melioidosis, the clinical manifestation of infection with Pseudomonas pseudomallei, has occurred infrequently in American citizens; almost all reported cases have been in Vietnam veterans, usually associated with respiratory disease. A Vietnam veteran from Mississippi developed chronic prostatitis, with no other clinical manifestations, during service in Vietnam, and P. pseudomallei was isolated from prostatic secretions 2 years after his return to the United States. The patient had had sexual contact with four women including his wife since his return from Vietnam. Vaginal and cervical cultures and serum samples were obtained from the four women, and serum samples and cultures of semen were obtained from the patient. Vaginal swabs and semen cultures were negative for P. pseudomallei. The patient and his wife had hemagglutination titers (>640) diagnostic of P. pseudomallei infection. This occurrence of venereal transmission is the first report of person-to-person spread of P. pseudomallei infection.

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