Burkholderia species: Culture Characteristics, Colony Morphology, and Hallmark Features

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Burkholderia species: Culture Characteristics, Colony Morphology, and Hallmark Features

Culture Characteristics:
  • B. pseudomallei grows on sheep blood agar (SBA), chocolate (CHOC) agar, and MacConkey (MAC) agar
  • B. mallei grows on very slowly on SBA and CHOC, but little or no growth on MAC
Colony Morphology on SBA at 35oC:
  • B. mallei: Smooth, gray, translucent colonies at 48 hours as displayed in the top, right image
  • B. pseudomallei: Smooth, creamy, white colonies at 24 hours as displayed in the lower image on the right
  • B. pseudomallei: May become dry and wrinkled as shown in the image below, often with a purplish hue at 48-72 hours
Colony Morphology on MAC at 35oC:
  • B. pseudomallei: Pink colonies at 24-48 hours (may be colorless at 48 hours)
  • B.mallei: No growth or light pink colonies at 72 hours
Colonial morphology of Burkholderia pseudomallei
bacteria on chocolate agar after 72 hours. (16)
16. CDC/T Parker, A Marsh. Image #12279. "This photograph depicts the colonial morphology displayed by Gram-negative, Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria, grown on chocolate agar for a 72-hour time period." PHIL, 2010 pubic domain. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=12279
17. CDC/T Parker, A Marsh. Image #12237. "This photograph depicts the colonial morphology displayed by Gram-negative, Burkholderia mallei bacteria, which were grown on a medium of sheep's blood agar (SBA), for a 48-hour time period." PHIL, 2010 public domain. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=12237
18. CDC/L Stauffer. Image #1927. "This image depicts a close view of a Petri dish culture plate, which had contained a growth medium of sheep blood agar (SBA), and which was inoculated with Gram-negative Burkholderia pseudomallei, incubated for a 48-hour time period." PHIL, 2002 public domain. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=1927

Burkholderia mallei growing on sheep blood agar (SBA);
48 hours of incubation. (17)
Burkholderia pseudomallei growing on Sheep blood agar
(SBA); 48 hours of incubation. (18)