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Burkholderia cepacia complex
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Beta Proteobacteria
Order: Burkholderiales
Family: Burkholderiaceae
Genus: Burkholderia
Species: B. cepacia complex
Binomial name
Burkholderia cepacia complex
(Palleroni and Holmes 1981)
Yabuuchi et al. 1993
Type species
ATCC 25416

CCUG 12691 and 13226
CFBP 2227
CIP 80.24
DSM 7288
HAMBI 1976
ICMP 5796
JCM 5964
LMG 1222
NBRC 14074
NCCB 76047
NCPPB 2993
NCTC 10743
NRRL B-14810


Pseudomonas cepacia Burkholder 1950
Pseudomonas multivorans Stanier et al. 1966
Pseudomonas cepacia (ex Burkholder 1950) Palleroni and Holmes 1981
Pseudomonas kingii Jonsson 1970

Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), or simply Burkholderia cepacia is a group of catalase-producing, non-lactose-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria composed of at least nine different species, including B. cepacia, B. multivorans, B. cenocepacia, B. vietnamiensis, B. stabilis, B. ambifaria, B. dolosa, B. anthina, and B. pyrrocinia.[1] B. cepacia is an important human pathogen which most often causes pneumonia in immunocompromised individuals with underlying lung disease (such as cystic fibrosis or chronic granulomatous disease).[2]



BCC organisms are typically found in water and soil and can survive for prolonged periods in moist environments. Person-to-person spread has been documented; as a result, many hospitals, clinics, and camps have enacted strict isolation precautions for those infected with BCC. Infected individuals are often treated in a separate area from noninfected patients to limit spread, since BCC infection can lead to a rapid decline in lung function and result in death.


Diagnosis of BCC involves culturing the bacteria from clinical specimens such as sputum or blood. BCC organisms are naturally resistant to many common antibiotics including aminoglycosides and polymyxin B.[3] and this fact is exploited in the identification of the organism.

Oxidation-fermentation polymyxin-bacitracin-lactose (OFPBL) agar contains polymyxin (which kills most gram-negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and bacitracin (which kills most gram-positive bacteria and Neisseria species).[4][5] It also contains lactose, and organisms such as BCC that ferment lactose turn the pH indicator yellow, which helps to distinguish it from other organisms that may grow on OFPBL agar, such as Candida species, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Stenotrophomonas species, and Proteus species.

Infection control

The bacteria is so hardy that it has been found to persist in betadine (a common topical antiseptic).[6]


Treatment typically includes multiple antibiotics and may include ceftazidime, doxycycline, piperacillin, meropenem, chloramphenicol and co-trimoxazole(trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole).[3] Although co-trimoxazole has been generally considered the drug of choice for Burkholderia cepacia infections ceftazidime, doxycycline, piperacillin and meropenem are considered to be viable alternative options in cases where co-trimoxazole cannot be administered because of hypersensitivity reactions, intolerance or resistance.[7] In April 2007 Researchers from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario, working with a group from Edinburgh, announced they had discovered a way to kill the organism.[8][9]


B.cepacia was discovered by Walter Burkholder in 1949 as the culprit of onion skin rot, and first described as a human pathogen in the 1950s.[10] In the 1980s, it was first recognized in individuals with cystic fibrosis, and outbreaks were associated with a 35% death rate. Burkholderia cepacia has a large genome, containing twice the amount of genetic material as E. coli.

See also


  1. ^ Lipuma J (2005). "Update on the Burkholderia cepacia complex". Curr Opin Pulm Med 11 (6): 528–33. doi:10.1097/01.mcp.0000181475.85187.ed. PMID 16217180. 
  2. ^ Mahenthiralingam E, Urban T, Goldberg J (2005). "The multifarious, multireplicon Burkholderia cepacia complex". Nat Rev Microbiol 3 (2): 144–56. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1085. PMID 15643431. 
  3. ^ a b McGowan J (2006). "Resistance in nonfermenting gram-negative bacteria: multidrug resistance to the maximum". Am J Infect Control 34 (5 Suppl 1): S29–37; discussion S64–73. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2006.05.226. PMID 16813979. 
  4. ^ Becton, Dickinson and Company (2003). BD Difco and BD BBL Manual: Manual of Microbiological Culture Media. Franklin Lakes, New Jersey: Becton Dickinson. pp. 422–423.. 
  5. ^ "OFPBL agar". Remel Technical Manual. Lenexa, Kan: Remel. 1997. 
  6. ^ Anderson R, Vess R, Panlilio A, Favero M (1990). "Prolonged survival of Pseudomonas cepacia in commercially manufactured povidone-iodine". Appl Environ Microbiol 56 (11): 3598–600. PMID 2268166. 
  7. ^ Avgeri SG, Matthaiou DK, Dimopoulos G, Grammatikos AP, Falagas ME. Therapeutic options for Burkholderia cepacia infections beyond co-trimoxazole: a systematic review of the clinical evidence. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009; 33(5):394-404. PMID:19097867
  8. ^ "Key Found to Kill Cystic Fibrosis Superbug". Innovations Report. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  9. ^ Ortega XP, Cardona ST, Brown AR, et al. (May 2007). "A putative gene cluster for aminoarabinose biosynthesis is essential for Burkholderia cenocepacia viability". J. Bacteriol. 189 (9): 3639–44. doi:10.1128/JB.00153-07. PMID 17337576. 
  10. ^ Burkholder WH (1950). "Sour skin, a bacterial rot of onion bulbs". Phytopathology 40: 115–7. 

External links



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Superregnum: Bacteria
Regnum: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Classis: Beta Proteobacteria
Ordo: Burkholderiales
Familia: Burkholderiaceae
Genus: Burkholderia
Group: Burkholderia cepacia complex
Spieces: Burkholderia cepacia - Burkholderia ambifaria - Burkholderia cenocepacia - Burkholderia dolosa - Burkholderia multivorans - Burkholderia vietnamiensis - Burkholderia sp. 383



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