Burkholderia pseudomallei (Meloidosis)

Paul Auwaerter, M.D.


  • 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), and B. oklahomensis (Midwest U.S.), seen in environmental samples; unclear if the cause of the disease.
  • Commonly found in surface waters and muddy soils, but the transmission mechanism remains unclear.
    • Described as colonizing rhizospheres and plant structures.
  • Culturing methods in laboratories:
    • Ashdown’s media is favored if non-sterile specimens, such as respiratory specimens, are cultured.
    • B. cepacia-selective media an alternative.

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Last updated: July 17, 2023