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- Aerobic Gram-negative rod.
- B. pseudomallei, member of Burkholderia genus.
- Two other members, B. thailandensis (SE Asia, Australia), B. oklahomensis (Midwest U.S.), seen in environmental samples, unclear if cause of disease.
- Cause of melioidosis, mostly commonly seen in tropical climates of southeast Asia and northern Australia but described elsewhere including South and Central America, Africa.
- Regions of greatest prevalence: Northern Territory of Australia, northeast Thailand.
- Commonly found in surface waters and muddy soils but mechanism of transmission remains unclear.
- Described as colonizing rhizospheres and plant structures
- Human cases increase significantly during times of heavy rainfall.
- Regular contact with soil and water are risk factors.
- Increased risk with diabetes, COPD, alcoholism, chronic renal disease, thalassemia, malignancy, immunosuppression.
- Acquired by inhalation, traumatic inoculation or ingestion.
- Transmission to infants through breast feeding described in mothers suffering from mastitis.
- Culturing methods in laboratories:
- Ashdown’s media favored for non-sterile specimens such as respiratory.
- B. cepacia-selective media an alternative
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