Accurate and Rapid Identification of the Burkholderia pseudomallei Near-Neighbour, Burkholderia ubonensis, Using Real-Time PCR

Erin P. Price, Derek S. Sarovich, Jessica R. Webb, Jennifer L. Ginther, Mark Mayo, James M. Cook, Meagan L. Seymour, Mirjam Kaestli, Vanessa Theobald, Carina M. Hall, Joseph D. Busch, Jeffrey T Foster, Paul S Keim, David M Wagner, Apichai Tuanyok, Talima R Pearson, Bart J. Currie

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Burkholderia ubonensis is an environmental bacterium belonging to the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), a group of genetically related organisms that are associated with opportunistic but generally nonfatal infections in healthy individuals. In contrast, the near-neighbour species Burkholderia pseudomallei causes melioidosis, a disease that can be fatal in up to 95% of cases if left untreated. B. ubonensis is frequently misidentified as B. pseudomallei from soil samples using selective culturing on Ashdown's medium, reflecting both the shared environmental niche and morphological similarities of these species. Additionally, B. ubonensis shows potential as an important biocontrol agent in B. pseudomallei-endemic regions as certain strains possess antagonistic properties towards B. pseudomallei. Current methods for characterising B. ubonensis are laborious, time-consuming and costly, and as such this bacterium remains poorly studied. The aim of our study was to develop a rapid and inexpensive real-time PCR-based assay specific for B. ubonensis. We demonstrate that a novel B. ubonensis-specific assay, Bu550, accurately differentiates B. ubonensis from B. pseudomallei and other species that grow on selective Ashdown's agar. We anticipate that Bu550 will catalyse research on B. ubonensis by enabling rapid identification of this organism from Ashdown's-positive colonies that are not B. pseudomallei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere71647
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 13 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Price, E. P., Sarovich, D. S., Webb, J. R., Ginther, J. L., Mayo, M., Cook, J. M., Seymour, M. L., Kaestli, M., Theobald, V., Hall, C. M., Busch, J. D., Foster, J. T., Keim, P. S., Wagner, D. M., Tuanyok, A., Pearson, T. R., & Currie, B. J. (2013). Accurate and Rapid Identification of the Burkholderia pseudomallei Near-Neighbour, Burkholderia ubonensis, Using Real-Time PCR. PLoS One, 8(8), [e71647]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071647