Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2014) 16: 23-54.

PCR-based Methodologies Used to Detect and Differentiate the Burkholderia pseudomallei complex: B. pseudomallei, B. mallei, and B. thailandensis

Woan Lowe, Jordon K. March, Annette J. Bunnell, Kim L. O'Neill and Richard A. Robison

Methods for the rapid detection and differentiation of the Burkholderia pseudomallei complex comprising B. pseudomallei, B. mallei, and B. thailandensis, have been the topic of recent research due to the high degree of phenotypic and genotypic similarities of these species. B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are recognized by the CDC as tier 1 select agents. The high mortality rates of glanders and melioidosis, their potential use as bioweapons, and their low infectious dose, necessitate the need for rapid and accurate detection methods. Although B. thailandensis is generally avirulent in mammals, this species displays very similar phenotypic characteristics to that of B. pseudomallei. Optimal identification of these species remains problematic, due to the difficulty in developing a sensitive, selective, and accurate assay. The development of PCR technologies has revolutionized diagnostic testing and these detection methods have become popular due to their speed, sensitivity, and accuracy. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview and evaluation of the advancements in PCR-based detection and differentiation methodologies for the B. pseudomallei complex, and examine their potential uses in diagnostic and environmental testing.

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