HSP worked with international and Cambodian partners to roll out the CBEP-funded workshop to create awareness and provide training to clinicians and laboratory professionals for improved detection, diagnosis, and treatment of melioidosis in Cambodia. Modeling studies estimate a total of 165,000 human melioidosis cases worldwide, contributing to 89,000 deaths annually, (case fatality rate of >50%); it is underreported in most countries, including Cambodia. Melioidosis presents many unique challenges: First, the disease is difficult to recognize due to its diverse spectrum of clinical manifestations that mimic other common infections. Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacterium that causes melioidosis, is found in soil and fresh water in endemic areas, and routes of infection include ingestion, contact, and inhalation. Accurate laboratory diagnosis requires specialized techniques and experience. The pathogen is intrinsically resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, and requires a specific antimicrobial regimen. Finally, the pathogen is a select agent with potential for misuse for bioterrorism.
The Cambodia workshop provided specialized training to clinicians using case studies and wet lab training for laboratory staff; public and private sector hospitals and laboratories were invited to share results and participate in the training. The agenda also focused on the lab-clinical interface to improve communication and collaboration for improved patient outcomes. National guidelines for treatment were introduced at the workshop. Next steps were discussed for capacity strengthening, sharing data, and monitoring progress.
HSP Executive Director, Dr. Jason Rao and Technical Advisor, Dr. Prasad Kuduvalli participated in the workshop. HSP Local Intern Soeun Sambath provided much required on the ground outreach to local stakeholders and logistical support for the implementation of the workshop.
 Limmathurotsakul D. et al., Predicted global distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei and burden of melioidosis, Nature Microbiology, 1, 15008 (2016)