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Volume 17, Number 7—July 2011

Etymologia: Melioidosis

Nancy MännikköComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Author affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

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From the Greek melis, distemper of asses, oeidēs, resemblance, and osis, a suffix indicating an abnormal condition or disease. Alfred Whitmore, a British pathologist serving in Burma, and his assistant C. S. Krishnaswami first described melioidosis in 1912. The infection became known as Whitmore’s disease. In 1925, Ambrose T. Stanton and William Fletcher, the researchers who identified Burkholderia pseudomallei as the infection’s causative agent, renamed the infection melioidosis because of its clinical resemblance to glanders.

Sources: Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 31st edition. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2007; Stanton AT, Fletcher W. Melioidosis, a disease of rodents communicable to man. Lancet. 1925;205:10–3.


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DOI: 10.3201/eid1707.et1707

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Table of Contents – Volume 17, Number 7—July 2011

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Nancy Männikkö, EID Journal, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop D61, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

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Page created: September 09, 2011
Page updated: September 09, 2011
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The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.