The melioidosis agent Burkholderia pseudomallei and related opportunistic pathogens detected in faecal matter of wildlife and livestock in northern Australia

A Hoger, Mark Mayo, Erin Price, Vanessa Rigas, Glenda Harrington, Barbara Machunter, Jodie Low Choy, Bart Currie, Mirjam Kaestli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The Darwin region in northern Australia has experienced rapid population growth in recent years, and with it, an increased incidence of melioidosis. Previous studies in Darwin have associated the environmental presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, with anthropogenic land usage and proximity to animals. In our study, we estimated the occurrence of B. pseudomallei and Burkholderia spp. relatives in faecal matter of wildlife, livestock and domestic animals in the Darwin region. A total of 357 faecal samples were collected and bacteria isolated through culture and direct DNA extraction after enrichment in selective media. Identification of B. pseudomallei, B. ubonensis, and other Burkholderia spp. was carried out using TTS1, Bu550, and recA BUR3–BUR4 quantitative PCR assays, respectively. B. pseudomallei was detected in seven faecal samples from wallabies and a chicken. B. cepacia complex spp. and Pandoraea spp. were cultured from wallaby faecal samples, and B. cenocepacia and B. cepacia were also isolated from livestock animals. Various bacteria isolated in this study represent opportunistic human pathogens, raising the possibility that faecal shedding contributes to the expanding geographical distribution of not just B. pseudomallei but other Burkholderiaceae that can cause human disease.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1924-1932
    Number of pages9
    JournalEpidemiology and Infection
    Volume144
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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