Burkholderia cepacia complex epidemiology in persons with cystic fibrosis from Australia and New Zealand

Timothy J Kidd, Joel M Douglas, Haakon A Bergh, Chris Coulter, Scott C Bell

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) is a group of significant opportunistic respiratory pathogens which affect people with cystic fibrosis. In this study, we sought to ascertain the epidemiology and geographic species distribution of 116 Bcc isolates collected from people with CF in Australia and New Zealand. We performed a combination of recA-based PCR, amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR on each isolate. Each Burkholderia cenocepacia isolate was also screened by PCR for the presence of the B. cepacia epidemic strain marker. One hundred and fourteen isolates were assigned to a species using recA-based PCR and ARDRA. B. cenocepacia, B. multivorans and B. cepacia accounted for 45.7%, 29.3% and 11.2% of the isolates, respectively. Strain analysis of B. cenocepacia revealed that 85.3% of the isolates were unrelated. One related B. cenocepacia strain was identified amongst 15 people. Whilst full details of person-to-person contact was not available, all patients attended CF centres in Queensland (Qld) and New South Wales (NSW). Although person-to-person transmission of B. cenocepacia strains has occurred in Australia, the majority of CF-related Bcc infections in Australia and New Zealand are most likely acquired from the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-9
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Australia
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Burkholderia Infections
  • Burkholderia cepacia complex
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Rec A Recombinases

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