Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) pseudomallei
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Gammaproteobacteria, Order Pseudomonadales, Family Pseudomonadaceae, Genus Pseudomonas,
Pseudomonas pseudomallei
(Bacillus pseudomallei Whitmore 1913), Haynes 1957
Moved to
Burkholderia pseudomallei Yabuuchi et al. 1993.   Old synonyms: Bacterium whitmori  Stanton and Fletcher 1921;
Malleomyces pseudomallei Breed 1939; Loefflerella pseudomallei Brindle and Cowan 1951.

Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia thailandensis & Burkholderia oklahomensis are very similar phenotypically. No character can
Burkholderia oklahomensis from Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Gram-negative rods, 0.8-1.5 μm, motile by polar multitrichous flagella.
Colonies vary from rough to mucoid and from cream to bright orange.
Strictly aerobic (except in media with nitrate), optimal temperature 37 - 39 ºC, grow at
42 ºC.
Grow on nedia: Trypticase Soy Agar  ± 5% sheep blood, Trypticase Soy Broth,
Mueller-Hinton Agar, MacConkey agar, EMB Agar.
Isolated from soil, water, clinical specimens (sputum, blood, abscesses).
Cause melioidosis in sheep, goats, pigs, horses and other animals, also in humans (skin, lungs or septicemia). Bacteria produces
exo- and endotoxins with possible implication in melioidosis.
Can poduce a polysaccharide capsule, protecting the cell from phagocytosis.
  1. Whitmore A.: An account of a glanders-like disease occurring in Rangoon. Journal of Hygiene, 1913, 13, 1-34.
  2. Haynes W.C.: Genus I. Pseudomonas Migula 1894. In: R.S. Breed, E.G.D. Murray and N.R. Smith(eds): Bergey's Manual of
    Determinative Bacteriology, 7th edition, The Williams & Wilkins Co, Baltimore, 1957, pp. 89-152.
  3. Yabuuchi E., Kosako Y., Oyaizu H., Yano I., Hotta H., Hashimoto Y., Ezaki T. & Arakawa M.: proposal of Burkholderia gen. nov. and
    transfer of seven species of the genus Pseudomonas homology group II to the new genus, with the type species Burkholderia
    cepacia (Palleroni and Holmes 1981) comb. nov. Microbiol. Immunol., 1992, 36, 1251-1275.
  4. Brett P J, DeShazer D, Woods DE (1998). "Burkholderia thailandensis sp. nov., a Burkholderia pseudomallei-like species". Int J
    Syst Bacteriol 48: 317–320.
  5. Pseudomonas pseudomallei i Pseudomonas mallei--kapsuloobrazuiushchie bakterii. S F Popov, V Ia Kurilov, and A T Iakovlev. Zh
    Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 1995 Sep–Oct; (5): 32–36.
Accumulate poli-beta-hydroxybutyrate granules especially in nitrogen-deficient media.
No growth factor required. Can use more than 88 different organic compounds as sole
carbon source for growth (arabinose, D-fucose, trehalose, maltose, cellobiose, salicin,
starch, pyruvate, D-glucose, succinate, glycerol, L-alpha-alanine, inositol, acetate, D-
alpha-alanine, D-galactose, sorbitol, mannitol, DL-lactate, L-threonine, L-histidine, L-
tyrosine, trehalose, D-mannose, DL-glycerate, p-hydroxybenzoate, DL-4-aminobutyrate,
betaine, propionate, L-valine, L-proline, citrate, L-serine, 2-ketogluconate, L-phenylalanine, D-fructose, aconitate, L-isoleucine, L-
arginine, beta-alanine, n-valerate, L-ornithine, L-lysine, DL-kynurenine, n-caproate, heptanoate). Many strains are capable of
fermentation of sugars without gas formation.  ADH and gelatin liquefaction positive.
Can be differentiated from
Burkholderia mallei  by positive ribose and erythritol utilization.
Can be differentiated from
Burkholderia thailandensis by negative arabinose utilization.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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