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Melioidosis is a tropical infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei that results in high mortality. Hemolysin co-regulated protein 1 (Hcp1) and O-polysaccharide (OPS) are vaccine candidates and potential diagnostic antigens. The correlation of classes/subclasses of antibodies against these antigens with clinical characteristics of melioidosis patients is unknown. Antibodies in plasma samples from melioidosis patients and healthy donors were quantified by ELISA and compared with clinical features. In melioidosis patients, Hcp1 induced high IgG levels. OPS induced high IgG and IgA levels. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROCC) to discriminate melioidosis cases from healthy donors was highest for anti-Hcp1 IgG (0.92) compared to anti-Hcp1 IgA or IgM. In contrast, AUROCC for anti-OPS for IgG (0.91) and IgA (0.92) were comparable. Anti-Hcp1 IgG1 and anti-OPS IgG2 had the greatest AUROCCs (0.87 and 0.95, respectively) compared to other IgG subclasses for each antigen. Survivors had significantly higher anti-Hcp1 IgG3 levels than non-survivors. Male melioidosis patients with diabetes had higher anti-OPS IgA levels than males without diabetes. Thus, diverse and specific antibody responses are associated with distinct clinical characteristics in melioidosis, confirming the diagnostic utility of these responses and providing new insights into immune mechanisms.

Original publication





Scientific reports

Publication Date





Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.