METHODS: Using the keyword 'melioidosis' in the ProMED search engine, all of the information from the reports and collected data was reviewed using a structured form, including the year, country, gender, occupation, number of infected individuals, and number of fatal cases.
RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-four entries reported between January 1995 and October 2014 were identified. A total of 4630 cases were reported, with death reported in 505 cases, suggesting a misleadingly low overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 11%. Of 20 cases for which the gender was reported, 12 (60%) were male. Most of the cases were reported from Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia, with sporadic reports from other countries.
CONCLUSIONS: Internet-based reporting systems such as ProMED are useful to gather information and synthesize knowledge on emerging infections. Although certain areas need to be improved, ProMED provided good information about melioidosis.