Safer in Vitro Drug Screening Models for Melioidosis Therapy Development

Anna S. Amiss, Jessica R. Webb, Mark Mayo, Bart J. Currie, David J. Craik, Sónia Troeira Henriques, Nicole Lawrence

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Melioidosis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the Gram-negative soil bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Current antibiotic regimens used to treat melioidosis are prolonged and expensive, and often ineffective because of intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial resistance. Efforts to develop new treatments for melioidosis are limited by the risks associated with handling pathogenic B. pseudomallei, which restricts research to facilities with biosafety level three containment. Closely related nonpathogenic Burkholderia can be investigated under less stringent biosafety level two containment, and we hypothesized that they could be used as model organisms for developing therapies that would also be effective against B. pseudomallei. We used microbroth dilution assays to compare drug susceptibility profiles of three B. pseudomallei strains and five nonpathogenic Burkholderia strains. Burkholderia humptydooensis, Burkholderia thailandensis, and Burkholderia territorii had similar susceptibility profiles to pathogenic B. pseudomallei that support their potential as safer in vitro models for developing new melioidosis therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1846-1851
Number of pages6
JournalThe American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
Early online date21 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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