Tropical infection studied in new book
First published 13 February 2013
A James Cook University researcher has led an international team of scientists to publish the world’s first specialist work on the tropical bacterial infection melioidosis.
Melioidosis is endemic to areas of northern Australia and South East Asia, and is common in the wet season as monsoonal rains expose the microbes in the soil.
The disease can be inhaled in aerosols, or may contaminate cuts and abrasions on the skin, resulting in a wide range of complications from pneumonia and brain abscesses to chronic skin ulcers.
Melioidosis: A Century of Observation and Research has been edited by Professor Natkunam Ketheesan, from JCU’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
The book has been published by Elsevier, one of the world’s leading publishers of medical and scientific literature based in Amsterdam.
Professor Ketheesan said the book provided a comprehensive description of the clinical aspects of the disease process and an insight into the scientific discoveries related to melioidosis in the past 100 years.
It is the first publication to collate the research activities undertaken on melioidosis since the disease was first described in Burma in 1912, and later in Australia in 1949.
Professor Ketheesan said while current developments played an important role, there was still much that was unknown about melioidosis.
“It is hoped that the book will provide adequate information and stimulate much needed research into the unanswered questions to aid a timely diagnosis and provide effective and affordable treatment options to patients,” he said.
The 400-page book contains 10 sections and more than 35 chapters, compiled by 69 leading clinicians and researchers from eight countries.
It covers areas of epidemiology, clinical aspects, treatment protocols, genome structure, microbiology and host-pathogen interactions, culminating in the first comprehensive compilation of research and clinical findings on the disease.
The book will be launched at the School of Veterinary Sciences at JCU’s Townsville campus on Wednesday, March 6, from 5.30-7.30pm.
JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175