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Burkholderia mallei

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A bipolar aerobic and gram-negative obligate pathogen involved in Glanders infection manifested in humans as well as among mammalian animals.


Burkholderia mallei are non-motile bacterium with a size at about 1.5-3 micrometer in length and 0.5-1 micrometer in diameter with a rounded ends. It is isolated from the blood indicating septicemia. It is the first bacterium identified that has type VI secretion system that is important for pathogenicity. It is the only member of the family Burkholderiaceae that does not thrive in soil since it is an obligate mammalian pathogen that cause disease in host mammal in order to survive and transmitted from one host to another.

Burkholderia mallei an infection is normally occur in various animals including dogs, cats, bears, wolves and horses. It is used as a biological weapon. Its infection shows severe mucopurulent nasal discharge, ulcers with pus, nodules, nasal septae and granulomas in the lungs.

Burkholderia mallei causes the zoonotic glanders where in human occurs by contact with infected animals via cutaneous or respiratory route manifested by febrile pneumonia associated with necrosis, skin lesions and abscess development. It has been revealed to be resistant to complement-mediated killing, antimicrobials and macrophages.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Betaproteobacteria
Order: Burkholderiales
Family: Burkholderiaceae
Genus: Burkholderia
Species: Burkholderia mallei 

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