The influence of anthropogenic environmental changes upon Burkholderia pseudomallei

Mirjam Kaestli, Jeffrey Warner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mankind has been altering the natural environment for thousands of years. Although the influences are most obvious on macroflora and -fauna, microbial communities are also affected. Human activity has also recently been linked to the distribution and dispersal of Burkholderia pseudomallei. In endemic regions, the prevalence in soil of the bacteria may be increased due to land-use practices, agriculture, irrigation and the import of pasture grasses. Clear correlations exist with the incidence of melioidosis and rice and livestock farming, and building practices that expose B. pseudomallei from deeper levels in the soil. Humans have been involved in the dispersal of the organism, from the ancestral origins of Australia throughout the traditional endemic regionsof Asia, as well as to non-endemic areas, a classical example of the latter being “l’affaire duJardin des Plantes”. Studying human interactions with B. pseudomallei is critical to understandingmelioidosis epidemiology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMelioidosis
Subtitle of host publicationA Century of Observation and Research
EditorsNatkunan Ketheesan
ChapterSection IX.5
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780444534798
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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