Caister Academic Press

Molecular Mechanisms of Virulence in Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei

Catherine Ong and Patrick Tan
from: Burkholderia: From Genomes to Function (Edited by: Tom Coenye and Eshwar Mahenthiralingam). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei, causative agents of the diseases melioidosis and glanders, respectively, are two of the deadliest members of the Burkholderia genus. Contained within their large genomes is a sizable number of genes that encode numerous redundant mechanisms involved in virulence. The availability of complete genome sequences of these two species has resulted in targeted characterization of mutiple novel virulence factors. Some of these virulence factors are arguably niche factors, more likely to aid the bacteria to adapt and survive in its environment. The distinct difference in niches of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei allows us to relook at some of these established virulence factors and mechanisms in context of their roles in environmental adaptation and survival. In addition, comparisons with the avirulent environmental saprophyte Burkholderia thailandensis helps to better understand the evolution of mammalian pathogenesis in these two pathogens. This chapter serves to summarize previously established virulence determinants, as well as highlight new and novel factors that have since been discovered post-genome sequencing read more ...
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