Burkholderia Cepacia

B. cepacia is an important human pathogen which most often causes pneumonia in immunocompromised individuals with underlying lung disease (such as cystic fibrosis or chronic granulomatous disease).

One characteristic of B cepacia is that ts can resist multiple antibiotics and has been found able to grow on penicillin medium. It can mutate quickly and adapt due to its unusually large genome to defend against antibiotics. In the early seventies, it was found to be a human pathogen and causes mild respiratory disease and urinary tract infections, in addition to being the causative agent of “foot rot” in swamps. B. cepacia was usually found in hospitals as an opportunistic pathogen. In the eighties, it was found to cause life threatening pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients. The complications caused by Burkholdheria cepacia had a mortality rate of 80%. This bacteria and Pseudomonas aeruginosa enhance each other in their effects in cystic fibrosis patients causing major problems. Due to the problems that Burkholderia cepacia can cause, currently the CDC and the EPA has a moratorium against BC pesticides and herbicides.

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