Burkholderia species are gram-negative, with no retention of violet stain in gram staining. This species has two clinical pathogens: B. cepacia complex, which manifests with an opportunistic infection, and B. pseudomallei, which manifests with melioidosis.
This organism has a bacilli shape. It means that it is rod-shaped.
Burkholderia is a catalase-positive organism, meaning it can produce the enzyme catalase, which catalyzes the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.
Burkholderia is oxidase-positive, which means it can produce cytochrome c oxidase that works on the electron transport chain. This bacteria can use oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor in respiration, a crucial process for generating energy for the cell.
Burkholderia is not able to ferment lactose as an energy source. This fact can be seen in its growth as white colonies on MacConkey agar.
Burkholderia infection can present with encephalomyelitis, skin abscesses, and pneumonia.
Patients with cystic fibrosis are susceptible to Burkholderia infections, particularly those caused by the Burkholderia cepacia complex.
Burkholderia species are often multidrug resistant, which makes them particularly difficult to treat.
A patient infected with Burkholderia is contraindicated from undergoing lung transplantation due to its poor clinical outcome.
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