Open Access Peer-reviewed Case Study

Melioidosis and sickle cell disease: Description of a rare association

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Mick Ya-Pongombo Shongo
Mimi Mujing Yav
Olivier Mukuku corresponding author
Gaston Kankolongo
Kumel Kasongo Kumelundu
Aubin Ndjadi Wembonyama Kasongo
Augustin Mulangu Mutombo
André Kabamba Mutombo
Paulo Muntu Bunga
Léon Mwepu Tshilolo
Oscar Numbi Luboya
Stanis Okitotsho Wembonyama


Melioidosis and its germ are increasingly reported on the African continent and particularly in Central Africa, probably due to the increased awareness of clinicians and microbiologists and the growing recognition of the organism. It is called "Great Mimicker" because it produces a wide range of clinical characteristics such as would be found in patients living with sickle cell disease (SCD) in particular. However, to date, no publication presents this association between melioidosis and SCD. The authors describe here 3 clinical cases presenting this very rare association between melioidosis and SCD. These are 3 children with SCD (homozygous SS) residing in Lubumbashi in Haut-Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One patient presented with sepsis as a clinical form of the disease. All 3 had presented a pulmonary form. Only one patient was treated specifically after the diagnosis of melioidosis; for the other two, this diagnosis was confirmed after their death. Thus the death rate is 66.67%. This article describes, through these 3 clinical cases, a very rare first association between melioidosis and SCD. This association requires research to establish whether, like Thalassemia, SCD can be considered a risk factor for melioidosis. A screening of cases of melioidosis in the general population should allow us to focus on this.

Sickle Cell Disease, Melioidosis, Africa, Children, Burkholderia pseudomallei

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How to Cite
Shongo, M., Yav, M., Mukuku, O., Kankolongo, G., Kumelundu, K., Kasongo, A., Mutombo, A., Mutombo, A., Bunga, P., Tshilolo, L., Luboya, O., & Wembonyama, S. (2020). Melioidosis and sickle cell disease: Description of a rare association. Theory and Clinical Practice in Pediatrics, 3(1), 57-62.


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