Clinical features and laboratory diagnosis of infection with the potential bioterrorism agents Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei are the causative organisms of Glanders and Melioidosis, respectively. Although now rare in Western countries, both organisms have recently gained much interest because of their unique potential as bioterrorism agents. These organisms are less familiar to medical and laboratory personnel than other select bioterrorism bacterial agents and thus heightened awareness of Glanders and Melioidosis is crucial in order to enable adequate emergency preparedness and response to deliberate release of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei. The microbiological diagnosis of both species in the clinical laboratory is complicated. This paper reviews the various challenges and pitfalls associated with the diagnosis of Melioidosis and Glanders in the clinical setting, with emphasis on the role of sentinel laboratories.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007