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      Comparison of Mast Burkholderia Cepacia, Ashdown + Gentamicin, and Burkholderia Pseudomallei Selective Agar for the Selective Growth of Burkholderia Spp.

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          Reliable identification of pathogenic Burkholderia spp. like Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei in clinical samples is desirable. Three different selective media were assessed for reliability and selectivity with various Burkholderia spp. and nontarget organisms.

          Mast Burkholderia cepacia agar, Ashdown + gentamicin agar, and B. pseudomallei selective agar were compared. A panel of 116 reference strains and well-characterized clinical isolates, comprising 30 B. pseudomallei, 20 B. mallei, 18 other Burkholderia spp., and 48 nontarget organisms, was used for this assessment.

          While all B. pseudomallei strains grew on all three tested selective agars, the other Burkholderia spp. showed a diverse growth pattern. Nontarget organisms, i.e., nonfermentative rod-shaped bacteria, other species, and yeasts, grew on all selective agars. Colony morphology did not allow unambiguous discrimination.

          While the assessed selective media reliably allowed the growth of a wide range of B. pseudomallei strains, growth of other Burkholderia spp. is only partially ensured. Growth of various nontarget organisms has to be considered. Therefore, the assessed media can only be used in combination with other confirmative tests in the diagnostic procedure for the screening for melioidosis or glanders.

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          Laboratory diagnosis of melioidosis: past, present and future.

          Melioidosis is an emerging, potentially fatal disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, which requires prolonged antibiotic treatment to prevent disease relapse. However, difficulties in laboratory diagnosis of melioidosis may delay treatment and affect disease outcomes. Isolation of B. pseudomallei from clinical specimens has been improved with the use of selective media. However, even with positive cultures, identification of B. pseudomallei can be difficult in clinical microbiology laboratories, especially in non-endemic areas where clinical suspicion is low. Commercial identification systems may fail to distinguish between B. pseudomallei and closely related species such as Burkholderia thailandensis. Genotypic identification of suspected isolates can be achieved by sequencing of gene targets such as groEL which offer higher discriminative power than 16S rRNA. Specific PCR-based identification of B. pseudomallei has also been developed using B. pseudomallei-specific gene targets such as Type III secretion system and Tat-domain protein. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, a revolutionary technique for pathogen identification, has been shown to be potentially useful for rapid identification of B. pseudomallei, although existing databases require optimization by adding reference spectra for B. pseudomallei. Despite these advances in bacterial identification, diagnostic problems encountered in culture-negative cases remain largely unresolved. Although various serological tests have been developed, they are generally unstandardized "in house" assays and have low sensitivities and specificities. Although specific PCR assays have been applied to direct clinical and environmental specimens, the sensitivities for diagnosis remain to be evaluated. Metabolomics is an uprising tool for studying infectious diseases and may offer a novel approach for exploring potential diagnostic biomarkers. The metabolomics profiles of B. pseudomallei culture supernatants can be potentially distinguished from those of related bacterial species including B. thailandensis . Further studies using bacterial cultures and direct patient samples are required to evaluate the potential of metabolomics for improving diagnosis of melioidosis.
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            Comparison of Ashdown's medium, Burkholderia cepacia medium, and Burkholderia pseudomallei selective agar for clinical isolation of Burkholderia pseudomallei.

            Ashdown's medium, Burkholderia pseudomallei selective agar (BPSA), and a commercial Burkholderia cepacia medium were compared for their abilities to grow B. pseudomallei from 155 clinical specimens that proved positive for this organism. The sensitivity of each was equivalent; the selectivity of BPSA was lower than that of Ashdown's or B. cepacia medium.
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              Rapid identification of Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei by intact cell Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation mass spectrometric typing

              Background Burkholderia (B.) pseudomallei and B. mallei are genetically closely related species. B. pseudomallei causes melioidosis in humans and animals, whereas B. mallei is the causative agent of glanders in equines and rarely also in humans. Both agents have been classified by the CDC as priority category B biological agents. Rapid identification is crucial, because both agents are intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has the potential of rapid and reliable identification of pathogens, but is limited by the availability of a database containing validated reference spectra. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the rapid and reliable identification and differentiation of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei and to build up a reliable reference database for both organisms. Results A collection of ten B. pseudomallei and seventeen B. mallei strains was used to generate a library of reference spectra. Samples of both species could be identified by MALDI-TOF MS, if a dedicated subset of the reference spectra library was used. In comparison with samples representing B. mallei, higher genetic diversity among B. pseudomallei was reflected in the higher average Eucledian distances between the mass spectra and a broader range of identification score values obtained with commercial software for the identification of microorganisms. The type strain of B. pseudomallei (ATCC 23343) was isolated decades ago and is outstanding in the spectrum-based dendrograms probably due to massive methylations as indicated by two intensive series of mass increments of 14 Da specifically and reproducibly found in the spectra of this strain. Conclusions Handling of pathogens under BSL 3 conditions is dangerous and cumbersome but can be minimized by inactivation of bacteria with ethanol, subsequent protein extraction under BSL 1 conditions and MALDI-TOF MS analysis being faster than nucleic amplification methods. Our spectra demonstrated a higher homogeneity in B. mallei than in B. pseudomallei isolates. As expected for closely related species, the identification process with MALDI Biotyper software (Bruker Daltonik GmbH, Bremen, Germany) requires the careful selection of spectra from reference strains. When a dedicated reference set is used and spectra of high quality are acquired, it is possible to distinguish both species unambiguously. The need for a careful curation of reference spectra databases is stressed.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                European Journal of Microbiology & Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                09 January 2017
                March 2017
                : 7
                : 1
                : 15-36
                [1 ] Department of Dermatology, German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [2 ] CBRN Defence, Safety and Environmental Protection School, Science Division
                [3 ]Bundeswehr Medical Academy , Munich, Germany
                [4 ]Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health , Jena, Germany
                [5 ] Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute, German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [6 ] Institute for Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medicine Rostock , Rostock, Germany
                [7 ] Department of Preventive Medicine, Bundeswehr Medical Academy , Munich, Germany
                Author notes
                * Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute, German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg, Bernhard Nocht street 74, 20359 Hamburg, Germany; 0049-40-6947-28700; 0049-40-6947-28709; Frickmann@

                Declaration of interest

                The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

                © 2017, The Author(s)

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 8, Equations: 0, References: 35, Pages: 29
                Funding sources: There has been no source of funding.
                Original Article


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