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Burkholderia pseudomallei causes significant global morbidity and mortality, with the highest disease burden in parts of Asia where culture-based diagnosis is often not available. We prospectively evaluated the Active Melioidosis Detect (AMD, InBios International, USA) lateral flow immunoassay (LFI) for rapid detection of B. pseudomallei in turbid blood cultures, pus, sputum, sterile fluid, urine, and sera. Performance was compared to B. pseudomallei detection using monoclonal antibody latex agglutination (LA) and immunofluorescence assays (IFA), with culture as the gold standard. AMD was 99% (99/100; 94.6 - 100%) sensitive and 100% (308/308; 98.8-100%) specific on turbid blood culture bottles, with no difference to LA or IFA. AMD specificity was 100% on pus (122/122; 97.0-100%), sputum (20/20; 83.2-100%), and sterile fluid (44/44; 92 - 100%). Sensitivity on these samples was: pus 47.1% (8/17; 23.0 - 72.2%), sputum 33.3% (1/3; 0.84 - 90.6%), and sterile fluid 0% (0/2; 0 - 84.2%). Urine AMD had a positive predictive value of 94% (32/34; 79.7 - 98.5%) for diagnosing melioidosis in our cohort. AMD sensitivity on stored sera, collected prospectively from melioidosis cases during this study, was 13.9% (5/36; 4.7% - 29.5%) when compared to blood culture samples taken on the same day. In conclusion, the AMD is an excellent tool for rapid diagnosis of melioidosis from turbid blood cultures, and maintains specificity across all sample types. It is a promising tool for urinary antigen detection, which could revolutionise diagnosis of melioidosis in resource-limited settings. Further work is required to improve sensitivity on non-blood culture samples.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of clinical microbiology

Publication Date



Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit, Microbiology Laboratory, Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR