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Discovery of Aminoglycoside-susceptible Burkholderia pseudomallei

24 January 2014

Gentamicin has been used as a major ingredient of Ashdown’s agar, a selective medium for Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis. Recently we found that clinical B. pseudomallei strains from Salavak, Malaysian Borneo, were sensitive to gentamicin, and could not be selected by Ashdown’s agar in clinical laboratory diagnosis. Genetic analysis using next-generation sequencing has identified a point mutation within amrB, encoding an essential component of the AmrAB-OprA multi-drug efflux pump. Our study demonstrates that alternative B. pseudomallei selective media without gentamicin are needed for accurate melioidosis laboratory diagnosis in Sarawak. This finding may also have implications for environmental sampling of other locations to test for B. pseudomallei endemicity.