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B. mallei on SBA at 48h image courtesy of CDC

B. pseudomallei on SBA at 48h image courtesy of CDC

Burkholderia species

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

B. pseudomallei on CHOC at 72h image courtesy of CDC