Emergence of Burkholderia pseudomallei sequence type 562, Northern Australia

Ella M. Meumann, Mirjam Kaestli, Mark Mayo, Linda Ward, Audrey Rachlin, Jessica R. Webb, Mariana Kleinecke, Erin P. Price, Bart J. Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 2005, the range of Burkholderia pseudomallei sequence type 562 (ST562) has expanded in northern Australia. During 2005-2019, ST562 caused melioidosis in 61 humans and 3 animals. Cases initially occurred in suburbs surrounding a creek before spreading across urban Darwin, Australia and a nearby island community. In urban Darwin, ST562 caused 12% (53/440) of melioidosis cases, a proportion that increased during the study period. We analyzed 2 clusters of cases with epidemiologic links and used genomic analysis to identify previously unassociated cases. We found that ST562 isolates from Hainan Province, China, and Pingtung County, Taiwan, were distantly related to ST562 strains from Australia. Temporal genomic analysis suggested a single ST562 introduction into the Darwin region in ≈1988. The origin and transmission mode of ST562 into Australia remain uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1067
Number of pages11
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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