Genomic Insights Into the Melioidosis Pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei

Erin PRICE, Bart Currie, Derek Sarovich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose of Review: Genomics has fundamentally transformed our understanding of infectious diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the insights gained from genomic investigations of the melioidosis-causing pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    Recent Findings: B. pseudomallei has a large and complex genome that encodes an impressive array of virulence factors, some of which are variably present. Despite frequent lateral gene transfer, phylogenomics resolves B. pseudomallei populations to the continental level, enabling strain source tracing in non-endemic regions and shedding light on the origin and anthropogenic spread of B. pseudomallei populations across tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Within-host evolution, outbreak point-sources and antibiotic resistance can now be rapidly elucidated using comparative genomic approaches.

    Summary: Genomics is an essential tool for understanding the phylogeography, transmission, evolution, virulence, epidemiology, and antibiotic resistance of B. pseudomallei. A shift towards more detailed characterization of genetic variation using RNA-Seq, Methyl-Seq, and genome-wide association studies will provide additional insights into this fascinating and deadly bacterium.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-102
    Number of pages8
    JournalTopical Collection on Melioidosis and Tropical Bacteriology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


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