Melioidosis is a disease caused by infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei. The molecular basis for the pathogenicity of B. pseudomallei is poorly understood. However, recent work has identified the first toxin from this bacterium and shown that it inhibits host protein synthesis. Here, we review the illness that is potentially associated with biological warfare, the pathogen and its deadly molecular mechanism of action, as well as therapeutic developments that may follow.

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