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Sensitive and specific molecular detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, in the soil of tropical northern Australia

Kaestli, Mirjam, Mayo, Mark, Harrington, Glenda, Watt, Felicity, Hill, Jason, Gal, Daniel and Currie, Bart J. (2007). Sensitive and specific molecular detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, in the soil of tropical northern Australia. Applied and Environmental Microbiology,73(21):6891-6897.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Sensitive and specific molecular detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, in the soil of tropical northern Australia
Author Kaestli, Mirjam
Mayo, Mark
Harrington, Glenda
Watt, Felicity
Hill, Jason
Gal, Daniel
Currie, Bart J.
Journal Name Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 73
Issue Number 21
ISSN 0099-2240   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 6891
End Page 6897
Total Pages 7
Place of Publication Washington, United States
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Field of Research 0605 - Microbiology
0799 - Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
1002 - Environmental Biotechnology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Burkholderia pseudomallei, the cause of the severe disease melioidosis in humans and animals, is a gram-negative saprophyte living in soil and water of areas of endemicity such as tropical northern Australia and Southeast Asia. Infection occurs mainly by contact with wet contaminated soil. The environmental distribution of B. pseudomallei in northern Australia is still unclear. We developed and evaluated a direct soil B. pseudomallei DNA detection method based on the recently published real-time PCR targeting the B. pseudomallei type III secretion system. The method was evaluated by inoculating different soil types with B. pseudomallei dilution series and by comparing B. pseudomallei detection rate with culture-based detection rate for 104 randomly collected soil samples from the Darwin rural area in northern Australia. We found that direct soil B. pseudomallei DNA detection not only was substantially faster than culture but also proved to be more sensitive with no evident false-positive results. This assay provides a new tool to detect B. pseudomallei in soil samples in a fast and highly sensitive and specific manner and is applicable for large-scale B. pseudomallei environmental screening studies or in outbreak situations. Furthermore, analysis of the 104 collected soil samples revealed a significant association between B. pseudomallei-positive sites and the presence of animals at these locations and also with moist, reddish brown-to-reddish gray soils.
Keywords Burkholderia pseudomallei
melioidosis
northern Australia
Southeast Asia
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01038-07   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)


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