Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei as bioterrorism agents: national aspects of emergency preparedness Academic Article uri icon


  • • Vol 9 • July 2007 B. mallei and B. pseudomallei as Bioterrorism Agents 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 bio­ terrorism agents [1]. Despite being unique organisms, B. mallei and B. pseudomallei share many similarities and may be considered together in the context of a deliberate­release event. These pathogens are less familiar to medical and labora­ tory personnel than other select bioterrorism bacterial agents such as Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis and, therefore, a review of glanders and melioidosis is crucial in order to guide emergency preparedness and response to a deliberate­release event. The aim of this paper is to review the unique characteristics of these organisms in the context of bioterrorism, with special emphasis on national aspects of preparedness in Israel.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007