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Using BOX-PCR to exclude a clonal outbreak of melioidosis

  • Currie, Bart J1, 2
  • Gal, Daniel2
  • Mayo, Mark2
  • Ward, Linda1, 2
  • Godoy, Daniel3
  • Spratt, Brian G3
  • LiPuma, John J4
  • 1 Flinders University, Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory Clinical School, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia , Darwin (Australia)
  • 2 Charles Darwin University, Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia , Darwin (Australia)
  • 3 Imperial College London, St. Mary's Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 4 University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA , Ann Arbor (United States)
Published Article
BMC Infectious Diseases
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jun 30, 2007
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-7-68
Springer Nature


BackgroundAlthough melioidosis in endemic regions is usually caused by a diverse range of Burkholderia pseudomallei strains, clonal outbreaks from contaminated potable water have been described. Furthermore B. pseudomallei is classified as a CDC Group B bioterrorism agent. Ribotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) have been used to identify genetically related B. pseudomallei isolates, but they are time consuming and technically challenging for many laboratories.MethodsWe have adapted repetitive sequence typing using a BOX A1R primer for typing B. pseudomallei and compared BOX-PCR fingerprinting results on a wide range of well-characterized B. pseudomallei isolates with MLST and PFGE performed on the same isolates.ResultsBOX-PCR typing compared favourably with MLST and PFGE performed on the same isolates, both discriminating between the majority of multilocus sequence types and showing relatedness between epidemiologically linked isolates from various outbreak clusters.ConclusionOur results suggest that BOX-PCR can be used to exclude a clonal outbreak of melioidosis within 10 hours of receiving the bacterial strains.

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