Sinister soils

Melioidosis is a potentially fatal tropical, soil-borne infection prevalent in Northern Australia, Southeast Asia and other parts of the intertropical zone. Though relatively uncommon in Australia, agriculture, mining and the effects of climate change are expected to affect the epidemiology of melioidosis. Improved methods for targeted environmental surveillance for Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacterial cause of melioidosis, is urgently needed.