Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent for melliodiosis, is an opportunistic pathogen found in soil in tropic and subtropic regions worldwide. B. pseudomallei is classified as a category B, Tier 1 Select Agent in the United States due to a high mortality rate when untreated, and the potential for its use as a biowarfare agent through aerosol transmission. Most strains of B. pseudomallei require handling under Biosafety level 3 (BSL 3). B. pseudomallei, strain Bp82 (deltapurM) has a 109 base pair deletion within the purM open reading frame, rendering the strain avirulent in mouse and hamster models. B. pseudomallei, strain Bp82 (deltapurM) is now an Excluded Strain from the HHS and USDA Select Agents and Toxins Exclusions list and can be handled under BSL 2 conditions. Strain Bp82 (deltapurM) has been proposed as a vaccine candidate and has been used in antibiotic resistance studies. This strain was graciously deposited into BEI Resources by Dr. Herbert Schweizer, and is available as item number NR-51280.
Propst, K. L., et al. “A Burkholderia pseudomallei deltapurM Mutant is Avirulent in Immunocompetent and Immunodeficient Animals: Candidate Strain for Exclusion from Select-Agent Lists.” Infect. Immun. 78 (2010): 3136-3143. PubMed: 20404077.
Image: Burkholderia pseudomallei culture on sheep blood agar (CDC/ Larry Stauffer)