Burkholderia pseudomallei (Meloidosis)

Paul Auwaerter, M.D.
Burkholderia pseudomallei (Meloidosis) is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Aerobic Gram-negative rod [Fig 1], sometimes with a safety pin appearance [Fig 2].
    • 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 a cause of disease.
  • Commonly found in surface waters and muddy soils but the mechanism of transmission remains unclear.
    • Described as colonizing rhizospheres and plant structures.
  • Culturing methods in laboratories:
    • Ashdown’s media favored if non-sterile specimens cultured, such as respiratory specimens.
    • B. cepacia-selective media an alternative.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Aerobic Gram-negative rod [Fig 1], sometimes with a safety pin appearance [Fig 2].
    • 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 a cause of disease.
  • Commonly found in surface waters and muddy soils but the mechanism of transmission remains unclear.
    • Described as colonizing rhizospheres and plant structures.
  • Culturing methods in laboratories:
    • Ashdown’s media favored if non-sterile specimens cultured, such as respiratory specimens.
    • B. cepacia-selective media an alternative.

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Last updated: August 7, 2021