UAE doctors get global recognition for treating expat's rare disease

Patient's battle with deadly cepacia syndrome documented for future medical research

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Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 20 Jul 2022, 12:28 PM

Last updated: Sat 23 Jul 2022, 4:09 PM

Nitesh Sadanand Madgaocar, an Indian expat based in Abu Dhabi, never thought his 54-day battle against his rare and deadly cepacia syndrome would be documented for future medical reference in an international journal.

Madgaocar, who recovered from a deadly bacterial infection, which has a 75 per cent mortality rate, is pleased the clinical pathway followed in treating him will act as vital guidance for handling similar cases. His nearly two-month gruelling fight against the infection at Abu Dhabi's Burjeel Medical City is now a case report in the prestigious International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The peer-reviewed monthly journal has carried the case report titled 'The Management of Cepacia Syndrome in an Immunocompetent Non-Cystic Fibrosis Adult Patient', prepared by a team of doctors, in its current issue.

The report highlights the disease presentation, investigations, and management strategy a multidisciplinary team took to treat Madgaocar last year.

The team includes Dr Niyas Khalid, Dr Sreya Vemuri, Dr Georgey Koshy, Dr Dima Ibrahim, Dr Seema Oomen, Dr Sudhakar V Reddappa, Dr Mohammad Shoaib Nadaf, Dr Raja Muhammad Irfan, Dr Nicholas Wyon, Dr Mohammed Zeki Ahmed, and Dr Supriya Sundaram.

The infection was caused by burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) – a non-fermenting, gram-negative bacteria known to cause high morbidity and mortality. While BCC commonly affects patients with cystic fibrosis, it is often missed in those without it and is fatal, affecting the respiratory system combined with multiple organ failures.

Khaleej Times had reported the successful treatment of the case last year.

"Treatment options and management strategies remain poorly understood for BCC in general and non-cystic fibrosis cases in specific. We were able to successfully treat the patient using a combination of intravenous and inhalational antibiotics. It took 54 days for him to beat the infection," said Dr Niyas Khalid, a specialist in internal medicine at Burjeel Medical City.

Dr Khaled Musallam, group chief research officer at Burjeel Holdings, said: "It is a matter of pride for us that a prestigious medical journal such as the International Journal of Infectious Diseases has recognised the educational value of the clinical approach followed by our team of doctors at Burjeel Medical City."

"Knowledge and best practice sharing through academic publications remain crucial to identifying unmet needs and proposing solutions for future clinical decision making and research; all that would inevitably lead to improved patient outcomes."


The International Society for Infectious Diseases works to control infectious disease outbreaks and improve patient care. It is one of the most important and cited journals in the field of infectious diseases.

Madgaocar, who has gone back to work in Abu Dhabi after his recovery, congratulated the doctors on their achievement.

"This is a second life for me. If I didn't get timely support from these doctors, I would not have come back to life. I am happy to know that the process of treatment followed in my case is now recognised globally. It is a testament to the crucial care I received in the UAE."

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