Burkholderia cepacia complex

Lisa Spacek, M.D., Ph.D., John G. Bartlett, M.D.
Burkholderia cepacia complex is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Multi-species complex of bacteria, B. cepacia complex (Bcc) with species: B. cepacia, B. cenocepacia, B. multivorans, B. stablis, B. vietnamiensis, B. dolosa, B. ambifaria, B. lata, B. pyrrocinia.[6]
    • Known to produce secondary metabolites with antifungal and antimicrobial properties.[6]
    • Biosynthesis of antibiotics is controlled by quorum sensing, a global regulation system that coordinates bacteria behavior, allows cell-to-cell communication, and alters gene expression according to population density.[6][10]
  • Non-fermenting, aerobic Gram-negative rods. Originally described by Burkholder as causative agent of bacterial rot of onion bulbs (Latin, cepacia = onion).[7]
    • Waterborne, nosocomial, opportunistic pathogen. Ubiquitous in water, soil, plants. Patient-to-patient epidemic spread associated with increased mortality.
    • Adheres to epithelial cells and mucin; survives inside epithelial cells and macrophages; forms biofilms; secretes catalases, proteases and siderophores.[1]
    • Formerly known as Pseudomonas cepacia.

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Last updated: June 9, 2017