Burkholderia cepacia complex
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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.
- Known to produce secondary metabolites with antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
- Non-fermenting, aerobic Gram-negative rod [Fig 1]. Originally described by Burkholder as a causative agent of bacterial rot of onion bulbs (Latin, cepacia = onion).
- Formerly known as Pseudomonas cepacia.
- Waterborne, nosocomial, opportunistic pathogen. Ubiquitous in water, soil, plants.
- Recognized as the etiologic agent of "foot rot" or "swamp rot," maceration and hyperkeratosis affecting the toe webs of American soldiers who trained in wet terrain.
- Adheres to epithelial cells and mucin; survives inside epithelial cells and macrophages; forms biofilms; secretes catalases, proteases and siderophores.
- B. cenocepacia associated with the highest risk of mortality.
- Inherently resistant to many antibiotics, including first and second-generation cephalosporins, carboxypenicillins, aminoglycosides and polymyxins. Multi-drug resistance is common.