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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 3039106, 11 pages
Review Article

Burkholderia pseudomallei Adaptation for Survival in Stressful Conditions

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Correspondence should be addressed to Pornpan Pumirat;

Received 18 January 2018; Revised 9 March 2018; Accepted 5 April 2018; Published 27 May 2018

Academic Editor: Isabel Sá-Correia

Copyright © 2018 Taksaon Duangurai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes melioidosis, which can be fatal in humans. Melioidosis is prevalent in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. Ecological data have shown that this bacterium can survive as a free-living organism in environmental niches, such as soil and water, as well as a parasite living in host organisms, such as ameba, plants, fungi, and animals. This review provides an overview of the survival and adaptation of B. pseudomallei to stressful conditions induced by hostile environmental factors, such as salinity, oxidation, and iron levels. The adaptation of B. pseudomallei in host cells is also reviewed. The adaptive survival mechanisms of this pathogen mainly involve modulation of gene and protein expression, which could cause alterations in the bacteria’s cell membrane, metabolism, and virulence. Understanding the adaptations of this organism to environmental factors provides important insights into the survival and pathogenesis of B. pseudomallei, which may lead to the development of novel strategies for the control, prevention, and treatment of melioidosis in the future.