Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 109583, 10 pages
Research Article

The Identification and Differentiation between Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei Using One Gene Pyrosequencing

Center for Biological Defense, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Received 2 April 2014; Revised 11 July 2014; Accepted 15 July 2014; Published 2 October 2014

Academic Editor: Dennis A. Bazylinski

Copyright © 2014 Damian H. Gilling 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.


The etiologic agents for melioidosis and glanders, Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei respectively, are genetically similar making identification and differentiation from other Burkholderia species and each other challenging. We used pyrosequencing to determine the presence or absence of an insertion sequence IS407A within the flagellin P (fliP) gene and to exploit the difference in orientation of this gene in the two species. Oligonucleotide primers were designed to selectively target the IS407A-fliP interface in B. mallei and the fliP gene specifically at the insertion point in B. pseudomallei. We then examined DNA from ten B. mallei, ten B. pseudomallei, 14 B. cepacia, eight other Burkholderia spp., and 17 other bacteria. Resultant pyrograms encompassed the target sequence that contained either the fliP gene with the IS407A interruption or the fully intact fliP gene with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. These pyrosequencing assays based upon a single gene enable investigators to reliably identify the two species. The information obtained by these assays provides more knowledge of the genomic reduction that created the new species B. mallei from B. pseudomallei and may point to new targets that can be exploited in the future.