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Disproportionate distribution of Burkholderia cepacia complex species and transmissibility markers in cystic fibrosis

LiPuma, John J., Spilker, Theodore, Gill, Lisa H., Campbell, Preston W., Liu, Lixia and Mahenthiralingam, Eshwar ORCID: 2001. Disproportionate distribution of Burkholderia cepacia complex species and transmissibility markers in cystic fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 164 (1) , pp. 92-96. 10.1164/ajrccm.164.1.2011153

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Several distinct species (genomovars) comprise bacteria previously identified merely as Burkholderia cepacia. Understanding how these species, collectively referred to as the B. cepacia complex, differ in their epidemiology and pathogenic potential in cystic fibrosis (CF) is important in efforts to refine management strategies. B. cepacia isolates recovered from 606 CF patients receiving care at 132 treatment centers in 105 cities in the United States were assessed to determine species within the B. cepacia complex and examined for the presence of putative transmissibility markers (B. cepacia epidemic strain marker [BCESM] and cable pilin subunit gene [cblA]). Fifty percent of patients were infected with B. cepacia complex genomovar III, 38% with B. multivorans (formerly genomovar II), and 5% with B. vietnamiensis (formerly genomovar V); fewer than 5% of patients were infected with either genomovar I, B. stabilis (formerly genomovar IV), genomovar VI, or genomovar VII. BCESM was found in 46% of genomovar III isolates and not in any other species. Only one isolate, from a patient infected with the ET12 epidemic lineage, contained the complete cblA pilin subunit gene. Our data indicate a differential capacity for human infection among the phylogenetically closely related species of the B. cepacia complex. The low frequency of BCESM and cblA suggests that they are not sufficient markers of B. cepacia virulence or transmissibility.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: American Thoracic Society
ISSN: 1073-449X
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 09:01

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