Burkholderia species: Likely Clinical Specimens and Gram Stain Morphology

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Burkholderia species: Likely Clinical Specimens and Gram Stain Morphology

Clinical specimens where Burkholderia species may be encountered:
  • Blood
  • Bone marrow
  • Respiratory specimens - sputum, throat, or nasal
  • Wounds
  • Urine
Gram stain morphology:
B. mallei
  • Gram-negative coccobacillus or small rod
  • Arranged in pairs end-to-end, parallel bundles, or Chinese letter form
B. pseudomallei
  • Small, straight, or slightly curved gram-negative rod
  • May demonstrate peripheral or bipolar staining as they age (appear like endospores)
  • Smooth forms are arranged in long, parallel bundles
  • Rough forms more irregularly arranged
15. CDC/WA Clark. Image #19021. Caption: "Processed using a Gram-stain technique, this photomicrograph reveals numerous Gram-negative, rod-shaped, Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria." PHIL 1977, public domain image. Accessed May 25, 2022. http://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=19021

Gram stain of Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria. (15)