Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) mallei
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Gammaproteobacteria, Order Pseudomonadales, Family Pseudomonadaceae, Genus Pseudomonas,
Pseudomonas mallei  
(Zopf 1885) Redfearn et al. 1966.
Moved to Class Betaproteobacteria, Order Burkholderiales, Family Burkholderiaceae, Genus Burkholderia,
Burkholderia mallei  
Yabuuchi et al. 1993.
Bacillus mallei Zopf 1885; Pfeifferella mallei Buchanan 1918; Malleomyces mallei Pribram 1933; Actinobacillus mallei
Thompson 1933; Loefferella mallei Holden 1935; Acinetobacter mallei Steel and Cowan 1964.
Closely related to
Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) pseudomallei.
Gram-negative, 0.5-4 µm, nonmotile, rods.
On blood agar, incubated 48 hours at 37 ºC, the colonies are round, translucent and
have a diameter of 1 to 2 mm. By extending the duration of incubation, the colonies
become opaque and have a brownish center. When the strain is capsulated, colonies
are whitish and sticky.No growth factors required. Strictly aerobic except in media with
nitrate, optimal growth temperature 37 ºC. Growth at 42 ºC, but not at 4 ºC.
Media: Nutritive agar, Trypticase Soy Agar, Mac Conkey (variable and weak growth).
Isolated from human & animal clinical samples.
The caussative agent of glanders (farcy, morve, morva) in humans (pneumonia, bacteremia) and animals. Horses and donkeys are
the most susceptible. Hamsters proved to be highly susceptible to
B. mallei experimental infection.
Can produce a polysaccharide capsule, protecting the cell from phagocytosis.
  1. George M. Garrity, Julia A. Bell and Timothy Lilburn: Class II. Betaproteobacteria, Order I. Burkholderiales in: Bergey's Manual of
    Systematic Bacteriology, vol. 2, part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief),
    2005, 575-623.
  2. Redfearn M.S., Palleroni N.J. & Stanier R.Y.: A comparative study of Pseudomonas pseudomallei and Bacillus mallei. Journal of
    General Microbiology, 1966, 43, 293-313.
  3. Yabuuchi E., Kosako Y., Oyaizu H., Yano I., Hotta H., Hashimoto Y., Ezaki T. & Arakawa M.: Proposal of Burkholderia gen. nov. and
    transfer of seven species of the genus Pseudomonas homology group II to the new genus, with the type species Burkholderia
    cepacia (Palleroni and Holmes 1981) comb. nov. Microbiol. Immunol., 1992, 36, 1251-1275.
  4. M. Stephen Lever, Michelle Nelson, Philip I. Ireland, Anthony J. Stagg, Richard J. Beedham, Graham A. Hall, Georgina Knight and
    Richard W. Titball: Experimental aerogenic Burkholderia mallei (glanders) infection in the BALB/c mouse. J Med Micr. 52 (2003).
  5. Pseudomonas pseudomallei i Pseudomonas mallei--kapsuloobrazuiushchie bakterii. S F Popov, V Ia Kurilov, and A T Iakovlev. Zh
    Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 1995 Sep-Oct; (5): 32-36.
Postive results for arginine dihydrolase, catalase, gelatin hydrolysis, denitrification, oxidase, utilization of  L-histidine, xylose, acetate,
N-acetylglucosamine, adipate, D-alanine, L-alanine, beta-alanine, gamma-aminobutyrate, D-arabinose, L-arginine, L-aspartate,
benzoate, betaine, cellobiose, D-fucose, fumarate, galactose, glucose, L-glutamate, glycerate, glycerol, hippurate, L-histamine,
beta-hydroxybutyrate, p-hydroxybenzoate, m-inositol, alpha-ketoglutarate, lactate, L-malate, mannitol, mannose, phenylacetate,
poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate, propionate, pyruvate, quinate, sorbitol, succinate, sucrose, L-threonine, trehalose, tryptophan, L-tyrosine &

No utilization of rhamnose, glycolate, 2,3-butylene glycol, ethylene glycol, geraniol, levulinate, citraconate, mesaconate, saccharate,
tartrate, erythritol, adonitol, aconitate, 2-aminobenzoate, alpha-amylamine, D-arabitol, benzoylformate, butylamine, caprate, caproate,
L-cysteine, dulcitol, erythritol, ethanol, ethanolamine, L-fucose, glycogen, heptanoate, isobutyrate, L-isoleucine, isovalerate,
kynurenate, kynurenine, levulinate, L-lysine, pelargonate, putrescine, ribose, sebacate, valerate, ethanol, hexadecane, L-mandelate,
spermine, acetamide, aesculin, m-aminobenzoate, p-aminobenzoate, alpha-aminovalerate, amygdalin, arbutin, benzylamine,
n-butanol, L-citrulline, creatine, dodecane, gentiobiose, glycolate, histamine, m-hydroxybenzoate, o-hydroxybenzoate, lactose,  
hydroxymethylglutarate, inulin, isobutanol, isophthalate, isopropanol, 5-ketogluconate, L-leucine, lyxose, maleate, D-mandelate,
melibiose, mesaconate, methanol, methylaminec, mucate, nicotinate, norleucine, L-ornithine, oxalate, pantothenate, phenol,
phenylethanediol, phthalate, n-propanol, propylene glycol, raffinose, L-rhamnose, saccharate, tagatose, terephthalate, testosterone,
tryptamine, D-tryptophan & xylitol.

Variable results for starch hydrolysis, utilization of L-azelate, sarcosine, alpha-aminobutyrate, L-arabinose, malonate,
delta-aminovalerate, anthranilate, butyrate, caprylate, citrate, fructose, gluconate, 2-ketogluconate, maltose, L-phenylalanine,
L-proline, putrescine, salicin, L-serine, suberate, starch, L-valine, glutarate, D-malate, pimelate & trigonelline.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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